Jibble

Author Topic: Maniac Mansion Mania Mini Masterpieces #4: Berthold's Return (German, English)  (Read 3617 times)

Hello everybody! I present to you my game Berthold's Return, an entry in the Maniac Mansion Mania subseries Mini Masterpieces.





Story:
Berthold, Bernard's evil doppelganger, is back. On a mysterious mission he breaks into the Bernoulli estate to execute his assignment...

Features:
* short playtime
* 16:9 aspect ratio
* all original assets, apart from the default ones present in the starterpack
* overhauled background graphics
* animations
* english translation

Download

I've done the english translation myself. I hope it's not all too awful.

Sorry in advance if I done anything wrong regarding the rules.

blur

    • blur worked on one or more games that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • blur worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Sensitive people should probably not play this, especially those who got very agitated in the Best Movie by Hitchcock? thread.
So, I wonder: It is a point and click adventure game, but what's the point?

Ben X

  • Formerly bbX1138
    • Ben X worked on one or more games that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • Ben X worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Sensitive people should probably not play this, especially those who got very agitated in the Best Movie by Hitchcock? thread.

Just to be clear, are you saying this game has scenes of sexual assault in it?

blur

    • blur worked on one or more games that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • blur worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
I am not a lawyer: In some regions it would clearly fulfill that claim in other regions it would "only" be assault, kidnapping and torture.
To finish the game you have to:
Spoiler: ShowHide

* kiss the girl
* stun her with the chloroform soaked sock
* tie her down with the duct tape
* lock her in the chest in the basement


Danvzare

  • The Man with No Name
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    • I can help with proof reading
    • I can help with scripting
    • I can help with voice acting
    • Danvzare worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Sensitive people should probably not play this, especially those who got very agitated in the Best Movie by Hitchcock? thread.
So, I wonder: It is a point and click adventure game, but what's the point?

Thanks for the heads up.
I should be fine, but warnings like that are always appreciated.

Can the moderators please take a look at this and decide whether it's acceptable to have such a game in the official AGS database? I tried using the report function but I'm getting a database error.


When did everybody become so sensitive? It's nothing you don't see in any given cop show.
Spoiler: ShowHide
You have to kidnap the girl, transform into her and hide her to temporary take her place. That's the story of children cartoons. How can this be assault or torture?

Snarky

  • Global Moderator
  • Global Moderator
  • Mittens Lord
  • Private Insultant
    • Best Innovation Award Winner 2018, for his numerous additions to the AGS open source ecosystem including the new Awards Ceremony client and modules
    • Snarky worked on one or more games that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • Snarky worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Can the moderators please take a look at this and decide whether it's acceptable to have such a game in the official AGS database? I tried using the report function but I'm getting a database error.

Hoo boy!
That's a question I don't think we've ever been asked to take a position on before. It's not a decision I, for one, would want to make.

In general, there are tons of adventure games (and other computer games) where you have to do terrible things (including murder, cannibalism, animal abuse, etc.), or where you play as terrible characters. That doesn't necessarily imply an endorsement of those actions, and disallowing them would be very restrictive censorship. At the same time, clearly some things are over the line. (Some content would be illegal, for one thing.) But how do we determine that, particularly if we have to play through the game to see the material in question in context?

In this specific case (based on the descriptions in this thread)… Well, there are so many adventure games where you drug someone, and often strip them and stash them somewhere, usually as a way to steal their clothes for a disguise. (I think the latest game I played with a version of that puzzle was Unavowed.) The details make it sound like this instance is somewhat more disturbing, but not (in my view) orders of magnitude so.

For context, we permitted this game, which reportedly features hardcore sex scenes where the player-character performs rape by coercion as an optional path. (There was no real debate about whether to allow it in the db, only about what sort of screenshots could be featured on the site.)

Thanks for the elaborate reply, Snarky. This is the kind of mature response I was hoping for (rather than the moronic knee-jerk "pEoPLe aRe sO sEnSItiVe tHeSE dAyS *fart noises*"), and I see your point that this straddles a fine and maybe not-so-obvious line. I think it's very positive that anybody can bring up their concerns with the moderators and get an articulate and well justified reply, and I obviously respect your decision.

Another member from the Maniac Mansion Mania community here.

After reading this thread I feel like to slightly clarify some things.
It'd be a little bit unfair for the creator to give his game the reputation of a game which features a borderline story that's not for the faint-hearted.
To tell if this game really crosses the line, well, you need to try it for yourself.
Sure I know some rather sensitive people would rather refuse playing a game where you particulary don't know what to expect. Especially when there is a discussion like this.

So I give (or I try) to give an objective (pre)view, what to expect (and not to expect!) while playing this game.
- Protagonist carries out crimes.
- No heavy graphical violence like blood.
This is my opinion of this adventure, reading a book where you read in the perspective of the criminal will most likely describe truly repulsive scenes.

Briefly summarized, you should not judge a game by it's comments of it's release thread.
If there are people who are afraid of playing any game with for them inappropriate scenes, you (with you I am pointing at the AGS community) should introduce a content warning system, where the developer(s) can tick some boxes to describe what possibly inappropriate content the player can experience. (And such content warnings are for example visible on the AGS database entry of a game)

Ben X

  • Formerly bbX1138
    • Ben X worked on one or more games that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • Ben X worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
No one here has judged the game, we've discussed the contents of it.
Considering the developer thinks that
Spoiler: ShowHide
chloroforming a woman, duct-taping her up then shoving her in a chest (and perhaps forcibly kissing her?)
is the stuff of children's cartoons, and called us all over-sensitive for simply describing the contents of the game, I'm not sure relying solely on a developer-led content warning system would be the best way forward.

Snarky

  • Global Moderator
  • Global Moderator
  • Mittens Lord
  • Private Insultant
    • Best Innovation Award Winner 2018, for his numerous additions to the AGS open source ecosystem including the new Awards Ceremony client and modules
    • Snarky worked on one or more games that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • Snarky worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
I obviously respect your decision.

To be clear, I wasn't offering it as a decision, or even speaking on behalf of the moderators as a group; it was just my personal reflections. Like I said, it's not a decision I would wish to make, and thankfully it's not my decision to make. (I guess it's ultimately up to AGA; if he doesn't have a position it probably then would fall to LimpingFish as moderator of this board; if he's in doubt it would then go to discussion among the moderators, and we might in turn seek input from the community.) I certainly understand that different people will have different perspectives on this (the Hitchcock thread had some very thought-provoking ones)—I don't want to suggest that my own view takes precedence.

To Cone Arex, I'm sure it feels unfair that all the responses so far are about what I take it you consider a minor and innocuous point in the game. And perhaps it is. Or perhaps it's a problematic or misguided element (possibly shared by several other games in the genre) in an otherwise great game. In either case, and unless the game is fundamentally hateful, congratulations on your first AGS game (posted here, anyway)!

If there are people who are afraid of playing any game with for them inappropriate scenes, you (with you I am pointing at the AGS community) should introduce a content warning system, where the developer(s) can tick some boxes to describe what possibly inappropriate content the player can experience. (And such content warnings are for example visible on the AGS database entry of a game)

Such a ratings system is already in place. The author has marked "none" for all the categories covered: sex/nudity, violence, and bad language.

Considering the developer thinks that
Spoiler: ShowHide
chloroforming a woman, duct-taping her up then shoving her in a chest (and perhaps forcibly kissing her?)
is the stuff of children's cartoons

Considering that one of the most popular children's characters on German TV is a bad-tempered, depressive, anthropomorphic loaf of stale bread, who knows what they consider "normal".

To be clear, I wasn't offering it as a decision, or even speaking on behalf of the moderators as a group; it was just my personal reflections. Like I said, it's not a decision I would wish to make, and thankfully it's not my decision to make. (I guess it's ultimately up to AGA; if he doesn't have a position it probably then would fall to LimpingFish as moderator of this board; if he's in doubt it would then go to discussion among the moderators, and we might in turn seek input from the community.) I certainly understand that different people will have different perspectives on this (the Hitchcock thread had some very thought-provoking ones)—I don't want to suggest that my own view takes precedence.

Thanks for clarifying. What I said still applies in any case, and appreciate that you took the time to offer your point of view and explain what a complex matter this could be for the moderators. I personally find the aspects we've been discussing here repulsive and if I was the dictator of my own little forum I might not think twice about booting it, but with the context you offered about past similar situations, I can say I understand your position.

To Cone Arex, I'm sure it feels unfair that all the responses so far are about what I take it you consider a minor and innocuous point in the game.

If that's the case, then maybe he should be less ~sensitive~ *shrug*


Considering that one of the most popular children's characters on German TV is a bad-tempered, depressive, anthropomorphic loaf of stale bread, who knows what they consider "normal".
1. We all (nation-wise) have our weird kind of children, (or rather) teen targeted TV shows.
2. Shapeshifting creatures belong to the fundamental cast of fantasy creatures.

Considering that one of the most popular children's characters on German TV is a bad-tempered, depressive, anthropomorphic loaf of stale bread, who knows what they consider "normal".
1. We all (nation-wise) have our weird kind of children, (or rather) teen targeted TV shows.
2. Shapeshifting creatures belong to the fundamental cast of fantasy creatures.

r/woosh

Danvzare

  • The Man with No Name
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    • I can help with proof reading
    • I can help with scripting
    • I can help with voice acting
    • Danvzare worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Thanks for the elaborate reply, Snarky. This is the kind of mature response I was hoping for (rather than the moronic knee-jerk "pEoPLe aRe sO sEnSItiVe tHeSE dAyS *fart noises*"), and I see your point that this straddles a fine and maybe not-so-obvious line. I think it's very positive that anybody can bring up their concerns with the moderators and get an articulate and well justified reply, and I obviously respect your decision.
It'll be scary if and when such a decision is ever made. As the line will be drawn in the sand. And anything with that type of content, will be strictly prohibited.
While I admit that I do indeed have a line in my head, this particular game doesn't seem like it would cross it. So if this was to be considered inappropriate and removed, I would be worried for anything I made (now or in the future).
But yeah, Snarky's response was quite nice.  :-D

If there are people who are afraid of playing any game with for them inappropriate scenes, you (with you I am pointing at the AGS community) should introduce a content warning system, where the developer(s) can tick some boxes to describe what possibly inappropriate content the player can experience. (And such content warnings are for example visible on the AGS database entry of a game)

Such a ratings system is already in place. The author has marked "none" for all the categories covered: sex/nudity, violence, and bad language.
I think this is my biggest problem.
As I said, warnings are appreciated. But I think it's also safe to say that a lack of warnings is just wrong.  (wrong)

First of all: It was not my intention to spark an outrage with the game. But I also won't apologise for it. I'm still 100% behind it. If it's deemed inappropriate over such a minor thing, than so be it.

No one here has judged the game, we've discussed the contents of it.
Considering the developer thinks that
Spoiler: ShowHide
chloroforming a woman, duct-taping her up then shoving her in a chest (and perhaps forcibly kissing her?)
is the stuff of children's cartoons
It literally is: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CaptureAndReplicate What you are doing is taking it out of context and framing it as assault and torture. That's same as claiming that cartoons like Road Runner are promoting violence and suicide because a character was blown to bits after swallowing dynamite. Any episode of Family Guy that has Meg get beaten has more assault and torture than my game.

congratulations on your first AGS game (posted here, anyway)!
Thank you.

It'll be scary if and when such a decision is ever made. As the line will be drawn in the sand. And anything with that type of content, will be strictly prohibited.
While I admit that I do indeed have a line in my head, this particular game doesn't seem like it would cross it. So if this was to be considered inappropriate and removed, I would be worried for anything I made (now or in the future).
But yeah, Snarky's response was quite nice.  :-D

Note however that I never straight up asked for it to be removed; what I did was simply ask for a review precisely because of this. It is too easy to see things clearly when it's your line in the sand, which is why bringing these things up for discussion is good for everybody, I think.

If there are people who are afraid of playing any game with for them inappropriate scenes, you (with you I am pointing at the AGS community) should introduce a content warning system, where the developer(s) can tick some boxes to describe what possibly inappropriate content the player can experience. (And such content warnings are for example visible on the AGS database entry of a game)

Such a ratings system is already in place. The author has marked "none" for all the categories covered: sex/nudity, violence, and bad language.
I think this is my biggest problem.
As I said, warnings are appreciated. But I think it's also safe to say that a lack of warnings is just wrong.  (wrong)

Agree. Maybe there should be a "review rating" button to let the moderators know that the content warnings provided by the author might not be accurate?

Ben X

  • Formerly bbX1138
    • Ben X worked on one or more games that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • Ben X worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
What you are doing is taking it out of context and framing it as assault and torture.

I didn't frame it as anything, I didn't claim anything about the game promoting mindsets, I just listed some player actions from the game. You're removing context by referring to some specific actions with specific modern connotations and framing them as a generalised fantasy trope.

LimpingFish

  • Local Moderator
  • Boink!
    • LimpingFish worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
/long "Hmmmmmmmmmmmm..."

There's a number of discussions we could have in this particular debate, some of which may or may not directly concern the game in question. I have yet to play MMMMM#4(!) myself, though I plan to rectify that now, so as to offer a fair opinion.

I totally understand people's discomfort with content of the type mentioned above, even when taking creator intent into account, as it's not something we tend to treat as entertainment or as something we want to actively participate in. I also support a user's right to avoid such content where possible, should they desire to do so. The content ratings in the database are there for that very reason. Having said that, it might be time to upgrade that particular aspect of the database, so as to more accurately represent potentially divisive content, regardless of explicitness.

I also want to be fair to Cone Arex, and not rush to condemn him for something that isn't actually breaking any board or database rules.

First of all: It was not my intention to spark an outrage with the game. But I also won't apologies for it. I'm still 100% behind it. If it's deemed inappropriate over such a minor thing, than so be it.

...

What you are doing is taking it out of context and framing it as assault and torture. That's same as claiming that cartoons like Road Runner are promoting violence and suicide because a character was blown to bits after swallowing dynamite. Any episode of Family Guy that has Meg get beaten has more assault and torture than my game.

I understand your points, but I would also ask you to understand that not everybody may share your opinion, and that as moderators we have a responsibility to listen to any concerns people might have. I'd also ask you to take the time to add some content warnings to your game, if just for the benefit of those who wish to be informed before downloading it.

Maybe there should be a "review rating" button to let the moderators know that the content warnings provided by the author might not be accurate?

Sounds like a good Idea to me.

EDIT: Okay, I've played through the game. While you do indeed drug, bind, and lock the Britney character in a wooden box, none of it seems intended to be sexual, at least overtly so. Britney isn't physically harmed in any other way, a fact noted by the player character. There does seem to be some hostility towards her, though, with the player character commenting on her lack of intelligence, and her proclivity to wearing a revealing swimsuit, as seen in a photograph.

The player character seems to be a shape-shifter, and while it's unfortunate that kissing is used to trigger the transformation, they don't seem to be doing it for sexual gratification.

There are no other incidents of physical violence. There is one count of (minor) foul language.

So, what does all that mean? Well, apart from mentioning the distasteful actions committed by the player character, there is nothing here that would warrant moderator action, beyond the adding of content warnings to the database entry. I'm not a fan of violence towards women as a means of entertainment, even when presented in a manner as relatively mild as it is here, but I can't in good conscience condemn this game as anything other than...misguided? As Snarky said, NPCs being manhandled in a similar way is not uncommon in adventure games. And while a dirty sock soaked in chloroform is a particularly distasteful way of achieving your goal, it's up to the individual player to decide whether or not they have a problem with it.

I'm open to hearing other interpretations of the events of the game, though I would ask that people be mindful before leveling accusations against the developer or their game. :)

Hope that helps.
« Last Edit: 27 Jun 2020, 02:45 by LimpingFish »
Steam: LimpingFish
PSN: LFishRoller

Pogwizd

  • Quidquid latine dictum sit altum videtur
Hi,

I played the game but I must admit mainly out of curiosity about the whole discussion. Long story short, I don't think that this game crosses any line. As mentioned above, anything that this games presents hasn't happened in other point'n'clicks before and in my opinion the actions presented in the game are not of sexual nature. However, I do find it weird that the only goal of the game is to break in, subdue, tie up and hide away a person in their own house. I do think that the plot and events of the game are in bad taste and not to my liking but I wouldn't say they cross the line.

Quote
I'm not a fan of violence towards women as a means of entertainment (...)

I'm not a fan of violence towards any person as a means of entertainment ;)
I am afraid that the outrage was caused partially by the fact that the character that gets tied up is female and the one that ties her up is male who breaks into her house. I am really curious if anyone would mind the game if the genders of the characters were switched around or different in any other way.

As for the game itself, I really liked the visuals (for example, the transformation animation was really good imo or the change of the character's view when carrying Britney). Visuals aside, my problem with the game was that it doesn't tell you what the goal is at all, so you end up wandering around the house collecting stuff not knowing what for (if I hadn't read the thread earlier, I wouldn't have known what to do).

My two cents in the discussion.
" width="250" class="bbc_img resized" style="cursor: pointer;

I am afraid that the outrage was caused partially by the fact that the character that gets tied up is female and the one that ties her up is male who breaks into her house. I am really curious if anyone would mind the game if the genders of the characters were switched around or different in any other way.

This argument is a false equivalence because power dynamics are not symmetrical, and I'm tired of seeing it pop up over and over again in these discussions as if it was a huge gotcha. We can all agree that for example, hitting anybody is bad, but is it just as bad when a child hits an adult as when an adult hits a child? Obviously not, because of the power imbalance present. Serial killers/torturers/rapists are overwhelmingly male, and their victims overwhelmingly female (and if they're male, it's usually because the killer is a gay male, e.g., John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Dennis Nielsen, the Toronto killer, etc). So there's a real-world aspect for women in these types of narratives that make them particularly unsettling for us because they're not just crazy unrealistic fantasies (please look at this list and see the sheer amount of female names on it), and ignoring this and saying "it's just the same, just reversed" ignores factors which are crucial to the discussion.

In short, agreeing on "A is bad", doesn't invalidate "B is worse" (aka "all lives matter" vs. "black lives matter").
« Last Edit: 27 Jun 2020, 11:12 by Laura Hunt »

Pogwizd

  • Quidquid latine dictum sit altum videtur
I'm sorry Laura but I don't agree with what you're saying.

First of all, the child-grownup hitting scenario. I'm guessing you mean that when a grown-up hits a child then they are using the physical power over the child therefore taking advantage of the weakness of the child. But what if the child hits the grown-up? Even if the child is physically weaker? The child attacking the grown-up may or may not know that they are weaker but that doesn't change the fact that the deed of hitting is equally wrong and should be frown upon. Obviously, if we are talking about a small child hitting a grown-up for the first time, they simply don't know better and should be told off, whereas the grown-up knows exactly what they are doing (which is unacceptable), but this scenario is irrelevant to the game. Besides let me ask you a question, in your example, who do you see as a child? A cute, innocent 5 year-old or a rebellious, pathological teenager? And as a grown-up? An aggressive and toxic parent that takes it out on their children or a loving parent making a mistake? I personally can't tell because people are different but whatever the situation hitting other people is equally wrong.

But this still doesn't apply to the scenario in the game, where we have two adults. And I don't think you can tell whether the power dynamics are symmetrical or not. Why would you say that? Basing on the gender of the protagonists? Not every male is an alpha prime ready to use his physical power to subdue other people. And what if in the game we had two males? Would then power dynamics be symmetrical? Would it then mean that the situation would be ok and the game's plot wouldn't spark this discussion? What about a reversed situation where a female subdues a male? From what you are saying it seems that that shouldn't upset us as much? Why?

Quote
So there's a real-world aspect for women in these types of narratives that make them particularly unsettling for us because they're not just crazy unrealistic fantasies.

I believe that narratives where any person, be it a transgender person, a male, a female, is hurt by others is equally upsetting. And claiming that such narratives where the victim is a women is particularly upsetting is against true gender equality. Also, there are plenty of males being victims of rapes and other offences. Not many of them want to speak out due to social stigma.


" width="250" class="bbc_img resized" style="cursor: pointer;

Danvzare

  • The Man with No Name
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    • I can help with proof reading
    • I can help with scripting
    • I can help with voice acting
    • Danvzare worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
It'll be scary if and when such a decision is ever made. As the line will be drawn in the sand. And anything with that type of content, will be strictly prohibited.
While I admit that I do indeed have a line in my head, this particular game doesn't seem like it would cross it. So if this was to be considered inappropriate and removed, I would be worried for anything I made (now or in the future).
But yeah, Snarky's response was quite nice.  :-D

Note however that I never straight up asked for it to be removed; what I did was simply ask for a review precisely because of this. It is too easy to see things clearly when it's your line in the sand, which is why bringing these things up for discussion is good for everybody, I think.
Oh I noticed. I still find it scary that someone would ask for the line to be drawn though. Especially since it could go either way.
But hey, at least you're level-headed. At least more level-headed than me (since I would've downright asked for it to be banned if it crossed my line).


I am afraid that the outrage was caused partially by the fact that the character that gets tied up is female and the one that ties her up is male who breaks into her house. I am really curious if anyone would mind the game if the genders of the characters were switched around or different in any other way.
Nope. I'm fairly sure it's because someone else had to make the content warning for the creator.
Since that made people question the sudden warning, and therefore start a discussion. I think people would've been more accepting if the creator was more upfront. Like a "Hey, this game contains content that some might find offensive due to it's explicit nature. It's not meant to offend, and I'm sorry if it does, but it definitely can. So be forewarned."
A lack of a warning like that, makes it seem like the creator thinks the content is perfectly fine. This calls into question his character, which in turns calls into question the motive behind the game.

And considering the creator has admitted that the game was never meant to cause an outrage, yet adamantly refused to apologize anyway. Lends credit to what I said earlier, about calling his character into question. If this had been me, I would've apologized. I wouldn't take down the game or censor myself or anything. But I would've apologized.

Speaking of which, sorry if this has come across as an attack on you Cone Arex. Congratulations on your first game posted here, and I hope this doesn't put you off, on posting more of your games. And look on the bright side. Your little game is getting talked about a lot more than it would've done if it wasn't for the outrage.  :-D

I believe that narratives where any person, be it a transgender person, a male, a female, is hurt by others is equally upsetting. And claiming that such narratives where the victim is a women is particularly upsetting is against true gender equality. Also, there are plenty of males being victims of rapes and other offences. Not many of them want to speak out due to social stigma.
Ah, the equality vs equity argument.
Neither are right, and neither are wrong. Yet most people are incapable of noticing the difference or seeing from the other person's point of view.
Word of advice, don't go there.

I'm sorry Laura but I don't agree with what you're saying.

First of all, the child-grownup hitting scenario. I'm guessing you mean that when a grown-up hits a child then they are using the physical power over the child therefore taking advantage of the weakness of the child. But what if the child hits the grown-up? Even if the child is physically weaker? The child attacking the grown-up may or may not know that they are weaker but that doesn't change the fact that the deed of hitting is equally wrong and should be frown upon. Obviously, if we are talking about a small child hitting a grown-up for the first time, they simply don't know better and should be told off, whereas the grown-up knows exactly what they are doing (which is unacceptable), but this scenario is irrelevant to the game. Besides let me ask you a question, in your example, who do you see as a child? A cute, innocent 5 year-old or a rebellious, pathological teenager? And as a grown-up? An aggressive and toxic parent that takes it out on their children or a loving parent making a mistake? I personally can't tell because people are different but whatever the situation hitting other people is equally wrong.

The funny thing about "whatever the situation hitting other people is equally wrong" is that's actually an amoral take because it purposefully ignores the notions of injustice and unfairness. An employee hitting on their boss is inappropriate conduct. A boss hitting on their employee carries with it an implicit power leverage. It's not "equally wrong" by any stretch of the imagination.

But this still doesn't apply to the scenario in the game, where we have two adults. And I don't think you can tell whether the power dynamics are symmetrical or not. Why would you say that? Basing on the gender of the protagonists?

Yes. Because the only thing we know about this conflict is its gendered aspect, and we live in a world that's been shaped by and for males, where women as a class have always been the oppressed party, which is the whole *reason* there is a constant ongoing fight for gender equality. Your saying that there needs to be gender equality and denying that this inequality exists in the first place is nonsensical. Acknowledging that male-on-female violence is more serious than female-on-male violence because it's orders of magnitude more pervasive is simply acknowledging the existence of this very unbalance and the need to correct it. If both are just the same to you, then surely there is no inequality, just "people" hitting "other people", and if that's the case, then everything is just random human nature, there are no patterns to address, therefore nothing needs to be done because there's no problem. This is why I said above that this is an amoral take.

Not every male is an alpha prime ready to use his physical power to subdue other people.

Again, this is not about individuals, it's about existing societal structures. And I can't believe I have to explain this, but not all power is exerted physically and you don't have to be an "alpha male" to benefit from your position at the apex of a patriarchal system in which women are inherently defined as "less" by default. I don't ever do this because I believe in defending my own points myself with my own words, but I truly recommend this very short observation because I truly can't say it any better myself: https://prokopetz.tumblr.com/post/107164298477/i-think-my-biggest-huh-moment-with-respect-to

And what if in the game we had two males? Would then power dynamics be symmetrical?

In the gender axis, yes. If there were other axes/power dynamics at play, then those would need to be examined too. In my own game there's a conflict between two gay men, so in gender and sexual orientation terms there's a balance, but the main axis of conflict (and source of the assymetry/power unbalance) is societal class.

Would it then mean that the situation would be ok and the game's plot wouldn't spark this discussion?

a) Once gain, no, it would not necessarily be ok by default, it would just mean that gender factor would not be part of the discussion of whether it's ok or not, and b) we would not be having this discussion, but we might be having a different one. What even is your point?

What about a reversed situation where a female subdues a male? From what you are saying it seems that that shouldn't upset us as much? Why?

Yes. I've already explained why. If you as a guy see that, chances are you're not going to think "oh god, that could happen to me". If you're a woman, there's a whole other layer of meaning to it which you are hell bent on denying with your whataboutism.

Quote
So there's a real-world aspect for women in these types of narratives that make them particularly unsettling for us because they're not just crazy unrealistic fantasies.
I believe that narratives where any person, be it a transgender person, a male, a female, is hurt by others is equally upsetting.

Then by refusing to acknowledge that in this world we live in some people are treated worse than others, in my eyes you are morally bankrupt. I'm not going to negotiate on that.

And claiming that such narratives where the victim is a women is particularly upsetting is against true gender equality.

In an ideal world, "Man lectures woman on what 'true' gender equality looks like" should be an Onion headline. Alas, here we go again. And again. Here, maybe you'll get it this way:



Also, there are plenty of males being victims of rapes and other offences. Not many of them want to speak out due to social stigma.

Please read the very last sentence I wrote a few times and see if it sticks. "A is a bigger problem than B" doesn't mean "B isn't a problem". Also, why is it that guys like you never bring up subjects such as male rape outside the context of these discussions, as some kind of way to "one-up" feminist talking points? Surely if this subject was of such grave concern to you, you would all be talking about it outside of these discussions?
« Last Edit: 27 Jun 2020, 13:46 by Laura Hunt »

Pogwizd

  • Quidquid latine dictum sit altum videtur
I don't even know where to start.

My idea behind my comments was to show a perspective, where a male can also be a victim of rape, torture or maltreatment. To show that content depicting such situations can be equally hurtful to people of the said gender as much as when a female is the victim. And that I disagree with the idea of paying more attention to victims of only one sex, nationality, religion etc.

What I read from your response, Laura, is that you accuse me of a bunch of things that I didn't say nor even imply. You interpret my words in a way that simply suits your mindset where all males deny inequality, have immoral take on every-day social conduct, are devoid of empathy and simply speaking are predators who dominated today's world. However, it is you who fail to notice that the current, fourth, wave of feminism has already achieved a lot. It doesn't mean that patriarchate has been gotten rid of completely, because there is still room for improvement, but now is also the time when we can start to acknowledge that inequality is in fact a phenomenon that exists on both (I'm simplifying for the sake of the argument) gender sides.

You say "a guy like you"... meaning? A feminist? For your information together with my wife we have been participating in many prides and women-rights marches, both in Poland and the UK. Also I live my life in a way that would challenge rather than reinforce gender, racial or religious stereotypes.

Making a point about gender inequality from a male perspective is everything but denying the existence of inequality. It simply shows my acknowledgement of its existence on all sides. However, this is something you seem to be strongly against of.

Also, I'm sorry but I must comment on this:

Quote
Quote
What about a reversed situation where a female subdues a male? From what you are saying it seems that that shouldn't upset us as much? Why?
Yes. I've already explained why. If you as a guy see that, chances are you're not going to think "oh god, that could happen to me". If you're a woman, there's a whole other layer of meaning to it which you are hell bent on denying with your whataboutism.

The only thing you are saying here to me is that I as a male am unable to feel empathy and sympathise with the victim. You are wrong, I am able to feel it, and as I am sure other males do, just as I am sure you can identify yourself with male characters. By denying that you are simply demonising males.

Also, please refrain from saying to me "guys like you" or "morally bankrupt" because you have no idea who I am and what I do outside this forum (which I visit only out of interest for point'n'clicks). This only suggests that you jump into ( wrong ) conclusions too quickly.

To be frank, people with such hostile and truculent attitude as you only put others off from the feminism cause. It seems that there is only one way of fighting for the cause in your opinion and any other points of view are just wrong. It is neither good nor inviting attitude for such a crucial social dialogue.

Nevertheless, despite you calling me a morally bankrupt person, I don't mean to fight with you anymore or carry on with this discussion. Although, I do stand by everything I said.
" width="250" class="bbc_img resized" style="cursor: pointer;

I don't even know where to start.

My idea behind my comments was to show a perspective, where a male can also be a victim of rape, torture or maltreatment. To show that content depicting such situations can be equally hurtful to people of the said gender as much as when a female is the victim. And that I disagree with the idea of paying more attention to victims of only one sex, nationality, religion etc.

The idea behind your comments was that depicting female-on-male violence is "just as bad" as male-on-female violence without consideration to the very real social ramifications of those portrayals. Which is what leads to the idea that no victims should receive special attention over others, which in turn I've already expressed my utter disagreement with.

What I read from your response, Laura, is that you accuse me of a bunch of things that I didn't say nor even imply. You interpret my words in a way that simply suits your mindset where all males deny inequality, have immoral take on every-day social conduct, are devoid of empathy and simply speaking are predators who dominated today's world.

"Males as a class" != "all males". Reading comprehension, please?

However, it is you who fail to notice that the current, fourth, wave of feminism has already achieved a lot. It doesn't mean that patriarchate has been gotten rid of completely, because there is still room for improvement, but now is also the time when we can start to acknowledge that inequality is in fact a phenomenon that exists on both (I'm simplifying for the sake of the argument) gender sides.

I feel like I'm talking to a wall here? I've said repeatedly that it's an issue that affects both sexes, the key point here is that affects one of them a lot more and therefore more resources should be destined to balance the playing field. I wonder if you're also against the idea of triage and believe that patients at an ER should be treated on a first come-first serve basis, regardless of gravity.

Making a point about gender inequality from a male perspective is everything but denying the existence of inequality. It simply shows my acknowledgement of its existence on all sides. However, this is something you seem to be strongly against of.

What I'm strongly against is, like I said, topics like "but what about male rape?" only being brought up by as a gotcha when talking about women's issues but seldom in the context of wider discussions on toxic masculinity.

The only thing you are saying here to me is that I as a male am unable to feel empathy and sympathise with the victim. You are wrong, I am able to feel it, and as I am sure other males do, just as I am sure you can identify yourself with male characters. By denying that you are simply demonising males.

No, what I'm saying is that you, specifically, are not showing any empathy in this particular discussion.

Also, please refrain from saying to me "guys like you" or "morally bankrupt" because you have no idea who I am and what I do outside this forum (which I visit only out of interest for point'n'clicks). This only suggests that you jump into ( wrong ) conclusions too quickly.

I'm not arguing with whoever you are outside this forum, I'm refuting the specific arguments that you're presenting here.

To be frank, people with such hostile and truculent attitude as you only put others off from the feminism cause. It seems that there is only one way of fighting for the cause in your opinion and any other points of view are just wrong. It is neither good nor inviting attitude for such a crucial social dialogue.

And there we go again with the "you are doing feminism wrong, here, let me show you" (roll)

Nevertheless, despite you calling me a morally bankrupt person, I don't mean to fight with you anymore or carry on with this discussion. Although, I do stand by everything I said.

I mean, you haven't replied to a single one of the very specific points I've made and defaulted to "you just hate men", so I'm not really getting anything from this discussion either. See you around!

Pogwizd

  • Quidquid latine dictum sit altum videtur

Quote
The idea behind your comments was that depicting female-on-male violence is "just as bad" as male-on-female violence without consideration to the very real social ramifications of those portrayals. Which is what leads to the idea that no victims should receive special attention over others, which in turn I've already expressed my utter disagreement with.

Well... because it is as bad and I disagree with interpreting depictions of violence towards different social groups as worse or bad. They are equally wrong. Just like with your example of an employee hitting an employer and vice versa. You can put as many fancy labels to them as you want, but they won't change the fact that morally both situations are equally wrong.

Quote
And there we go again with the "you are doing feminism wrong, here, let me show you" (roll)

I hope you are aware that you are the person with this attitude.

Quote
I mean, you haven't replied to a single one of the very specific points I've made and defaulted to "you just hate men", so I'm not really getting anything from this discussion either.

I know you are not getting anything from it if you read my words as "you just hate men".

See you around.
" width="250" class="bbc_img resized" style="cursor: pointer;

LimpingFish

  • Local Moderator
  • Boink!
    • LimpingFish worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
/rubs forehead

Obviously, this is a serious subject that's worth exploring, despite the inevitable arguments. But, in doing so, we're moving away from discussing the actual content of the game in question, towards a more general discussion...which is something better suited to...well...General Discussion.

As I said earlier, I don't intend to take any further moderator action concerning the game, beyond adding the content warnings, as no rules have been violated. The AGS database contains games meant for varying tastes, which sometimes means content that isn't suitable for all ages, or content that some may find objectionable.

I intend to raise the matter, with the other moderators, of redesigning the database's current system of content warning, so as to better inform potential players. I also want to add a clear means to flag games that lack appropriate ratings.

I'm not going to lock this thread, but I would ask that people try to limit their opinions to those that directly concern the game. :)
Steam: LimpingFish
PSN: LFishRoller

Jack

  • Think deviant
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    • I can help with scripting
    • I can help with story design
    • Jack worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Congratulations on the release, Cone.

And welcome to the AGS community. :D

arj0n

  • Mittens Vassal
  • art consists in drawing a line somewhere
    • arj0n worked on one or more games that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • arj0n worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Congratulations on the release, gonna play this one soon.
And welcome to the forums  :)

Congratulations on the release in English.

I've played a few of these games in German a long time ago, but can't remember the plotlines. From what I understand, this game is a chapter in a larger story. This makes it a bit difficult regarding motivation, as we're playing a villainous character, but don't know what his goal is. It's not too difficult to find out, but if the game rubs people the wrong way, I think this is one of the main reasons.

IIRC, these games use the same graphics set for the Mansion and the characters, making them look pretty good. Some of the rooms in the Mansion are locked, making way for a smaller game where it's easy for the player to find out what to do.

For the most part the English translation works out. When you try to use the toilet, the character ought to say "I'd prefer to be alone when I do that". There is also a note on the kitchen door that is still in German. No problem for me, but non-German speaking players may wonder if this is some important clue.

The problematic stuff fits best under a spoiler tag:
Spoiler: ShowHide
 Because I had no clue what to do, I too thought in the direction of sexual assault. Britney kept kicking me out of her room, and when I tried to talk to her, my character kissed her instead, triggering the transformation. I'm relieved that he "did that on his own". After knocking Britney out, I was wondering what was supposed to happen. When trying to use her bed, the message read "not now" or "not yet" (Don't recall, sorry.). I think this should rather have some sarcastic reply in tone with the others: "I don't want to lie down in that" something. There is no use for the bed later, so the generic response doesn't fit, in addition to giving the wrong impression. It's also true that there are sarcastic remarks about Britney earlier, but there are far more about Bernard, so those really reveal more about the player character. It would be in-character to refuse to use Britney's bed.

I think this game would be more comfortable to play if we know up front what the mission is. Perhaps we would if we had played episode #3? As it is, there are no sexually motivated actions in the game, but I got the impression that they were while playing.

Quote
Congratulations on your first game posted here
Quote
Congratulations on the release, Cone.
And welcome to the AGS community.
Quote
Congratulations on the release, gonna play this one soon.
And welcome to the forums 
Quote
Congratulations on the release in English.
Thank you all.

Quote
From what I understand, this game is a chapter in a larger story.
Not really. It does advance storylines from previous games (mainly the Berthold and Hamsterman characters) but otherwise was always intended to be a one-off side story. But I've seen that not a few people have misunderstood that and I'm currently toying with the idea of a sequel and a prequel. (I don't promise anything. I do start a lot of games and cancel them soon after if I see that it doesn't come together.)

Quote
There is also a note on the kitchen door that is still in German.
:(
I did translate the note on the door, but I also had the issue that doesn't load the correct graphic sometimes. Is the title screen graphic also untranslated ("Bertholds Rückkehr" instead of "Berthold's Return")?

Quote
Visuals aside, my problem with the game was that it doesn't tell you what the goal is at all, so you end up wandering around the house collecting stuff not knowing what for
This is something I wasn't 100% happy with either. That comes from the fact that I, against my usual workflow, came up with the puzzles first and build everything else around it rather than starting with the plot like I normally do.

Quote
I hope this doesn't put you off, on posting more of your games.
If an outcry would stop me from posting games, I would have stopped 14 years ago.  :-D I just don't see myself translating any more games any time soon. I don't really like translating stuff. There is a reason why I choose to translate Berthold's Return (my shortest game) and not any my previous ones, despite knowing that the game would be more difficult to understand to be people unfamiliar with Maniac Mansion Mania than my other games.

You can put as many fancy labels to them as you want, but they won't change the fact that morally both situations are equally wrong.
I fully agree! If we completely remove millennia of historical context, morally both situations are equally wrong.
Also, the starving kid stealing a loaf of bread is just as bad as the evil boss committing wage theft!
The slave killing the master is just as bad as the master killing a slave!
Furthermore, I have no idea what my point is; I'm just trying to shut you up!
Fail at Floaty Rog' now!  still having to deal with what games are going through

This argument is a false equivalence because power dynamics are not symmetrical, and I'm tired of seeing it pop up over and over again in these discussions as if it was a huge gotcha. We can all agree that for example, hitting anybody is bad, but is it just as bad when a child hits an adult as when an adult hits a child? Obviously not, because of the power imbalance present.

Fun Fact:
In this particular case, the victim (despite from beeing female) is the larger and stronger character of the two.  ;)

Ben X

  • Formerly bbX1138
    • Ben X worked on one or more games that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • Ben X worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Wow, another member of the Maniac Mansion Mania community who has barely posted on these forums in years! Welcome back, I hope you'll all stay active and aren't just here to defend this one MMM game from having its contents described!

Wow, another member of the Maniac Mansion Mania community who has barely posted on these forums in years! Welcome back, I hope you'll all stay active and aren't just here to defend this one MMM game from having its contents described!

Thanks. But I'm not as inactive as you think. Just a few months ago I posted my MMM Episode 100 here:
https://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=57974.0
Unfortunately it hasn't such a controversy thematic than this one here, so barely someone noticed it.

Ben X

  • Formerly bbX1138
    • Ben X worked on one or more games that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • Ben X worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
No, I saw that, you are exactly as inactive as I think.

No, I saw that, you are exactly as inactive as I think.

Was erwartest du von mir? Man bastelt jahrelang an einem Spiel, dass durchaus eine gewisse Länge und Komplexität vorweisen kann und das wird hier im Forum nicht nur kaum gewürdigt, sondern am Ende wird man auch noch dumm angemacht, "inaktiv" zu sein. Zumal der Release der englischen Übersetzung (die mich noch zusätzlich genug Zeit und Kraft gekostet hat!) gerade mal ein paar Monate her ist, also in der heutigen vollgestellten Zeit quasi gestern war. Und nein, ich werde mir diesmal nicht die Mühe geben, diesen Text noch in Englisch zu verfassen, das du kannst du diesmal gerne selbst machen! Abgesehen davon, dass diese sinnlose Diskussion sowas von Offtopic ist und überhaupt nichts zum eigentlichen Thema, nämlich Cones Spiel, beiträgt. Aber Offtopic ist hier ja sowieso schon der gesamte Thread, deshalb ist das nun auch egal...

Snarky

  • Global Moderator
  • Global Moderator
  • Mittens Lord
  • Private Insultant
    • Best Innovation Award Winner 2018, for his numerous additions to the AGS open source ecosystem including the new Awards Ceremony client and modules
    • Snarky worked on one or more games that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • Snarky worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Calm down, Cmdr. Why so upset about being called inactive on the forum? Before this thread you had made exactly one post since May 2018, and that seems to fall under any reasonable definition of "barely posted in years."

It's not an insult—at least not a very good one. If you've spent the time making games instead, that's great! If you want to participate more in the forum, you are welcome back. If you don't, you don't have to justify it to anybody.

(We do have a forum rule to post in English, so please make the effort in the future.)

Ben X

  • Formerly bbX1138
    • Ben X worked on one or more games that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • Ben X worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Quote
I will not bother this time to write this text in English, you can do it yourself this time!

I'm afraid Google Translate wasn't up to the challenge, so I couldn't really grasp what you were saying. But I agree with Snarky that "inactive" would be a pretty poor insult, and I didn't mean it as one.



Quote
From what I understand, this game is a chapter in a larger story.
Not really. It does advance storylines from previous games (mainly the Berthold and Hamsterman characters) but otherwise was always intended to be a one-off side story. But I've seen that not a few people have misunderstood that and I'm currently toying with the idea of a sequel and a prequel. (I don't promise anything. I do start a lot of games and cancel them soon after if I see that it doesn't come together.)

Please do! A prequel where Berthold gets rid of some other characters would make some of the criticism concerning this game moot.  ;-D

Quote
There is also a note on the kitchen door that is still in German.
Quote
:(
I did translate the note on the door, but I also had the issue that doesn't load the correct graphic sometimes. Is the title screen graphic also untranslated ("Bertholds Rückkehr" instead of "Berthold's Return")?

Yes. The intro "types" in German at first, and then switches to the English text. Mind you, I didn't touch the setup, so I may have neglected to do something.

Quote
Visuals aside, my problem with the game was that it doesn't tell you what the goal is at all, so you end up wandering around the house collecting stuff not knowing what for
Quote
This is something I wasn't 100% happy with either. That comes from the fact that I, against my usual workflow, came up with the puzzles first and build everything else around it rather than starting with the plot like I normally do.

And I think this is what lead to people (including me) getting the wrong idea at first.

Quote
I hope this doesn't put you off, on posting more of your games.
Quote
If an outcry would stop me from posting games, I would have stopped 14 years ago.  :-D I just don't see myself translating any more games any time soon. I don't really like translating stuff. There is a reason why I choose to translate Berthold's Return (my shortest game) and not any my previous ones, despite knowing that the game would be more difficult to understand to be people unfamiliar with Maniac Mansion Mania than my other games.

Have you tried the recruitment board on this site? There may be some members who could help you out with the translation.
« Last Edit: 03 Jul 2020, 15:30 by heltenjon »


Frodo

  • Welcome down... to my Planet Hell!
    • Frodo worked on one or more games that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • Frodo worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!

LimpingFish

  • Local Moderator
  • Boink!
    • LimpingFish worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Let's see...

Was erwartest du von mir? Man bastelt jahrelang an einem Spiel, dass durchaus eine gewisse Länge und Komplexität vorweisen kann und das wird hier im Forum nicht nur kaum gewürdigt, sondern am Ende wird man auch noch dumm angemacht, "inaktiv" zu sein. Zumal der Release der englischen Übersetzung (die mich noch zusätzlich genug Zeit und Kraft gekostet hat!) gerade mal ein paar Monate her ist, also in der heutigen vollgestellten Zeit quasi gestern war. Und nein, ich werde mir diesmal nicht die Mühe geben, diesen Text noch in Englisch zu verfassen, das du kannst du diesmal gerne selbst machen! Abgesehen davon, dass diese sinnlose Diskussion sowas von Offtopic ist und überhaupt nichts zum eigentlichen Thema, nämlich Cones Spiel, beiträgt. Aber Offtopic ist hier ja sowieso schon der gesamte Thread, deshalb ist das nun auch egal...

As mentioned, the primary language of this forum is English, and forum rules require that all posts be in English.

But I agree with Snarky that "inactive" would be a pretty poor insult, and I didn't mean it as one.

Fair enough, but it's still irrelevant to the discussion of the game. So let's move past it.

Everybody, try to keep the discussion centered on the game, rather than on the people or community behind it.


Steam: LimpingFish
PSN: LFishRoller

Well I, for one, love the MM game(s), and although I'm still in the middle of playing this one, I wanted to say that I got a kick out of the toilet paper reference.  Not as in "haha, it's amusing that this is going on"--as a nurse myself, I feel quite the opposite--but just as a little comic relief in such crazy, terrible, and uncertain times.  And yes--it will be great if it's a little-known reference soon, for certain. 

And I know you don't really like translating your games (I'm sure it can be tedious), but I appreciate that you did with this one so I (and many others I'm sure) could play it.  I'm really enjoying it so far.  :)

Hey folks!

I am offering my service as an unpaid translator (German <-> English) as I want to improve.
My only project I have worked on so far is a german translation for the game "Dead Cells" on steam, so I have a little bit of experience.
Feel free to contact me via PM or mail if you need your game localized in german or english.

Thank you!

Hint hint...there are people out there who maybe could get in touch.  ;)