Rust assigns gender based on player's SteamID

I foresee everyone, everywhere being absolutely fine with this.

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Facepunch Studios has detailed a controversial change to its open-world survival game, Rust. In addition to the usual assortment of fixes, the game has added female character models and will assign players a gender based on their SteamID.

Craig Pearson, a writer on the game, detailed the change in a development blog. "We understand this is a sore subject for a lot of people," Pearson wrote. "We understand that you may now be a gender that you don’t identify with in real-life. We understand this causes you distress and makes you not want to play the game anymore. Technically nothing has changed, since half the population was already living with those feelings. The only difference is that whether you feel like this is now decided by your SteamID instead of your real life gender."

Pearson's tone struck me as flippant and dismissive. Garry Newman, a developer on Rust, came across equally as blasé in an interview to Eurogamer. "Before we added different races and genders, you played as a bald white guy—you never had a choice," he said. "So we're not taking a choice away from the player, we're just adding more variety to the player models. I don't believe that playing as a different gender/race detracts from anyone's enjoyment of the game."

I wouldn't be surprised to see the developers over at Facepunch taken to task—for their decision, for its implementation, and for their tone. Part of the fantasy inherent in RPGs, or any game that lets you create a character, is the power to become someone else. I'm a (strapping, Adonis-like) dude in real life, but I tend to play females in games. Sometimes I come up with a fun character idea that I think works best as a woman, and sometimes I just decide to switch things up a bit. Having that control taken away from me by data connected not to the game itself, but to some bit I did or didn't flip in my Steam profile, seems contrived and myopic at the very least.

It also seems blatantly lazy. Facepunch invested the time and energy to create female character models. Surely creating menus full of sliders that let players customize those and other features can't be that much harder to build. At the very least, a screen with two buttons—Male, Female—is in order.

More to the point, many players won't appreciate being assigned a gender they don't identify with. For some of these players, video games are the one facet of their lives that allows them to exercise total control over those decisions.

This update comes on the heels of another controversial decision made to Rust in 2015: to arbitrarily assign facial features and skin color to player-characters.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at davidlcraddock.com and @davidlcraddock.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 11, 2016 2:05 PM

    David Craddock posted a new article, Rust assigns gender based on player's SteamID

    • reply
      April 11, 2016 2:16 PM

      Surely creating menus full of sliders that let players customize those and other features can't be that much harder to build.

      eeeeeeeeehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    • reply
      April 11, 2016 2:20 PM

      flippant and dismissive, just like this article.

      • reply
        April 11, 2016 2:26 PM

        I'll add that "it also seems blatantly lazy."

      • reply
        April 11, 2016 4:49 PM

        Ooooook. I didn't find the article to be that way at all. Why the venom?

    • reply
      April 11, 2016 2:26 PM

      No way. You're in the wrong here, and these guys are doing something smart, and IMO, it's an interesting social experiment.

      Their tone is appropriate, given the kind of shitheels who tend to get upset over things like this.

      • reply
        April 11, 2016 2:28 PM

        Bingo. This is fucking brilliant and should be applauded.

        • reply
          April 11, 2016 2:28 PM

          agreed

        • reply
          April 11, 2016 4:52 PM

          Why is it brilliant? I'm not saying it's immoral or wrong or anything (though I will agree with Craddock that their tone seems dismissive. They know they are taking an odd position - they should clarify their reasoning). But I will say that limiting character creation choices seems to go against all the rules of an RPG. So I'm not sure it's a smart business move.

          • reply
            April 11, 2016 5:26 PM

            Why do people keep calling this game an RPG? I don't see any reason to call it that.

            • reply
              April 11, 2016 5:45 PM

              Ok. An MMO then. How many of them don't let you create your character?

          • reply
            April 11, 2016 5:46 PM

            Game isn't really an RPG, it's a survival game about making due with what you've got. Nobody got to choose how they were born, and I fucking love the fact that this game did all the work for character customization and then doesn't let players fuck with it. You get what you're dealt. That's the game.

            • reply
              April 11, 2016 5:49 PM

              Well that's certainly a fair way to look at it. The developers were also perfectly capable of giving explanations such as yours.

      • reply
        April 11, 2016 2:29 PM

        More intriguing than this random sex bullshit is that they modeled dick size on the male avatars.

        • reply
          April 11, 2016 2:30 PM

          I mean I'd be pissed if my dude had a micropenis.

          • reply
            April 11, 2016 10:07 PM

            I used to have pretty much the biggest Rust dong you can have. It was hilarious. You can have a micropenis in Rust, and it's equally hilarious.

            Since the change, my dong has since disappeared, as I am now a female. I really don't give a shit either way. I think the fact that they give a shit is weird though.

      • reply
        April 11, 2016 2:33 PM

        Some people also just want to play video games and don't want to be part of some silly social experiment. Let people play as whatever they want. It's good they added more options than bald white dude, but come on. It's stupid to make some statement in assigning a game players gender by steamid. It's not solving anything, it's just going to annoy even more people, and you are still alienating those to who it actually matters that they can play as someone they identify with.

      • reply
        April 11, 2016 2:36 PM

        Fair enough. What bothered me was the dismissive tone of the developers. Chalk that up to how I interpreted their comments, I guess. And I'm by no means a hothead who would normally be bothered by this kind of thing.

        • reply
          April 11, 2016 10:10 PM

          It was dismissive. They have taken that tone quite a but with game changes because they hate the outrage it causes. It's partially their fault for creating the weekly blog that details their weeks work, but it was also a brilliant move. Their example for pre-alpha games should be the standard for how it's done.

          In the end they have made some truly great game play decisions, and like clockwork people always initially reject their direction. For example, they are going to add an XP/leveling system. I think it's a mistake, and is in start contrast to the very organic approach of the game, but maybe I'll be proven wrong.

      • reply
        April 11, 2016 2:38 PM

        I applaud the effort, and I think it's a neat experiment (provided they actually collect any data from it), but I understand the complaints. It probably should just re-roll randomly (not just gender by skin tone, build etc.) every time, not lock in something specific to your account.

      • reply
        April 11, 2016 2:59 PM

        is this how shacknews works now? just state your position, characterize people who disagree as "shitheels", and call it a day? no need to elaborate or be open to discussion in any way on shacknews in 2016.

        • reply
          April 11, 2016 3:02 PM

          The people who disagree are not necessarily shitheels. I am simply saying I'm glad this is the sort of thing which will upset those who *are* shitheels.

          • reply
            April 11, 2016 3:31 PM

            Well... I don't think that's exactly what you said. Your phrasing didn't leave much wiggle room.

          • reply
            April 11, 2016 3:42 PM

            Looking at this thread and looking at your post you seem to be arguing a strawman.

            "Their tone is appropriate, given the kind of shitheels who tend to get upset over things like this."

            How about no? Also did they tell people who bought in early that they are about to participate in a "smart" and "interesting" "social experiment"?.

            There are truly engaging and clever projects who play with the idea of a genetic lottery and they are upfront about it. The way they seem to articulate it doesn’t seem like one of those.

            Their line of argumentation is disingenuous as well: "they're not taking a choice away from the player, just adding more variety to the player models"?

            The moment a different player set exist, they are denying you a choice.

            They could have started the game with a black transsexual as a default character and the second they added a white as milk male/female character and decided to bind it to steam id they are denying you a choice.


            • reply
              April 11, 2016 4:07 PM

              You are not denying a choice. That presumes that all games should offer the maximum possible choices to players at all times, a premise I fundamentally disagree with. I think choice is overly prized among many, and that limiting, or even removing, those choices is good game design.

              • reply
                April 11, 2016 4:15 PM

                That’s not what I said or what people criticism.
                Also limiting choice makes sense in terms of mechanics if there is a gain in exchange but what is the benefit of denying it when its clearly available for character generation.

                What is the argument for it when you do not have a defined character with a back-story but a randomly by steam id generated figure.
                Why not allow a player to chose to play a black female the same way they should be able to play a white male character?
                Whats the good game design here?

        • reply
          April 11, 2016 3:23 PM

          Better agree with this post so no one thinks I'm a creepy manbaby

        • reply
          April 12, 2016 7:55 AM

          Basically, yeah.

      • reply
        April 11, 2016 3:40 PM

        its a very interesting experiment but possibly a terrible business plan.

      • reply
        April 11, 2016 11:23 PM

        I think it's kind of cool but at the same time I'm extremely cynical as to its ability to teach anyone anything and do anything good for the game experience.

        The people who are horrible about this kind of stuff won't learn anything from it, and the people who know what to expect will have their game experienced ruined for them.

      • reply
        April 12, 2016 2:02 AM

        I totally agree, I think that's a great move

    • reply
      April 11, 2016 2:29 PM

      Wow, they announced this a year ago, it took them that long to implement? http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/141628-Rust-Update-Assigns-Player-Gender

      • reply
        April 11, 2016 2:30 PM

        Maybe they contracted that company who did the TSA randomizer app?

      • reply
        April 11, 2016 10:12 PM

        In fairness, they make weekly updates to the game. Their progress is awesome (they started completely from scratch after throwing away Legacy Rust). They work very hard, as can be seen at www.playrust.com

    • reply
      April 11, 2016 2:35 PM

      Bad article, David. Srsly

      • reply
        April 11, 2016 2:38 PM

        That's kind of a dick comment. He wrote something and gave his opinion. Take him to task on why you disagree, but just saying "bad" over something he's offering an opinion on is lazy.

        • reply
          April 11, 2016 2:44 PM

          He seems upset about not having a choice that he never had.
          Like they say, previously, they were forced to be a bald, white dude.
          now, maybe he's forced to be a black female.

          nothing has really changed. but he seems to believe he's owed a choice.

          • reply
            April 11, 2016 2:46 PM

            As I've explained, I'm less bothered by that than the developer's tone. He's basically saying, "I understand some people will be bummed out that they don't have agency in their gender or race, even though we've had everybody assigned to white males this whole time. But, too bad."

            If they would have framed the update as a social experiment, then I would've been less taken aback. And I hope this community knows me well enough after 11 years to know I don't manufacture clickbait articles. I wrote this based on how their tone struck me.

            • reply
              April 11, 2016 2:48 PM

              Honestly, I'm just thrilled any time a developer is faced with people complaining about a thing and says the equivalent of "tough shit".

              • reply
                April 11, 2016 2:52 PM

                I agree with you. There's been an influx of scenarios where a developer made an artistic choice (as this one could be said to be), the community lost its shit, and the developer capitulated. I don't like that.

                At the same time, I believe there's a double standard inherent in this particular "experiment." In a Chatty thread from several months ago, some people were complaining about Nintendo not allowing them to play a female Link in Tri Force Heroes on 3DS. Some people wanted to play as a woman. I commented that gender doesn't matter in Nintendo's games, because by and large, they're just that: games. They're not trying to tell a story. They're effectively pieces on a board, like a Monopoly thimble.

                I got a ton of backlash from people expressing that some people didn't identify with playing as one gender or another, and wanted more choice. I saw where they were coming from.

                In his interview with Eurogamer, Facepunch's Gary Newman said: "I don't believe that playing as a different gender/race detracts from anyone's enjoyment of the game." Well, he's wrong. That's something I learned from the Chatty discussion. So, I wrote an article about it.

                If you disagree, that's fine. I see where you're coming from. But I won't back down from saying the developer's statement and tone were off base.

                • reply
                  April 11, 2016 2:59 PM

                  I think the broader issue of representation (where the idea that people who aren't white men would love to see themselves reflected in game characters) doesn't necessarily have anything to do with a couple games saying "We're going to have diversity, but you don't get to pick what you are". If anything, I feel like this kind of thing should help the less obtuse realize just what minorities have been saying for ages.

            • reply
              April 11, 2016 2:52 PM

              David, I know you don't do clickbait articles and this site isn't clickbaity.

              I think you covered this well. Being dismissive of your audience is never a good idea. They may laugh at their complaints now, but audiences are fickle. It's not a good long-term play to think you know better than your players.

              • reply
                April 11, 2016 2:54 PM

                I appreciate that. And I'm really not looking to win anybody over to my side. I wrote an opinion piece, and it's generating good discussion. Or at least, I'm enjoying it!

                • reply
                  April 11, 2016 2:59 PM

                  Is there a label for opinion pieces? Maybe that's a problem that news and opinion get placed under the same banner?

                  • reply
                    April 11, 2016 3:02 PM

                    Yeah, I was going to ask if I should label this opinion. Already pulled the trigger, though.

                    I'll keep it in mind in the future. I've made a habit of writing one long-form, opinion-y piece each day since I started my new tenure with the site. I'll talk to Steve Watts about it.

          • reply
            April 11, 2016 2:57 PM

            There was a choice before... to not buy the game if you didn't want to be the bald man.

        • reply
          April 11, 2016 2:49 PM

          Others have explained it for me already, I have nothing to add.
          Also he can have his opinion but seeing it in a news article like that, and written as if everyone would agree with him, strikes me as wrong. Talking about taking the developer to task on their tone while his own tone is so awful, come on!

      • reply
        April 11, 2016 3:09 PM

        How is it a bad article? The only thing I'd change is to label these sorts of things editorials/opinion in the title.

    • reply
      April 11, 2016 2:43 PM

      i like this idea.
      unless characters perform differently depending on their gender/race, i dont see how it's harmful at all.

    • reply
      April 11, 2016 2:43 PM

      Strikes me as odd to take away all choice.

      I've got no issue with being randomly assigned a particular character, and when this happens to me, I generally stick with what was given to me.

      But for a game like this, it seems choosing male/female would be a pretty standard option.

      • reply
        April 11, 2016 2:51 PM

        no choice was taken away, there was never any choice to begin with in this game.

      • reply
        April 11, 2016 2:51 PM

        there was no choice to begin with.

      • reply
        April 11, 2016 2:58 PM

        It is standard, as I pointed out. It's not as if Rust has a narrative that hinges upon the player assuming a character of a particular gender or ethnicity. The argument that there's never been choice is pretty weak. If they're going to go to the trouble of creating different character models, and then say "we're going to tell you what to play as," you should expect backlash.

        • reply
          April 11, 2016 5:51 PM

          but the entire point is that it *shouldnt* matter at all, but people project meaning into their player avatar, and when that's taken away some people flip the fuck out, and that should probably happen to people more often, if only to make them think about why they're uncomfortable with a gender-bent avatar, or race-bent avatar.

          If anything, it makes for a fascinating "how do people perceive me and interact with me in-game" study.

    • reply
      April 11, 2016 2:44 PM

      I agree with the article. I see what the developers are trying but it's likely going to backfire. Not to mention maybe if you are female and want to be female. Too bad your steam if makes you male.

    • reply
      April 11, 2016 2:59 PM

      This editorial like looks like news doesn't even make a particularly good forum post.

    • reply
      April 11, 2016 3:00 PM

      sounds like the developer is just a dick

    • reply
      April 11, 2016 3:02 PM

      One thing here- for most men being forced to play as a woman will be a new thing, but for most women, being forced to play as a man won't, obviously.
      However a woman being forced to play as a man when everything is there to play as a woman, and other women and men are playing as women- that's newish.

      Anyway Rust isn't a game about doing things how you want. It's about having stuff done to you by people of unknown origin whose only english words are "nigger faggot"

    • reply
      April 11, 2016 3:15 PM

      UPDATE: I added an Opinion tag, which should be reflected in the article.

      Sincerely, Shack, thank you for the discussion. I've been trying my hand at writing at least one long-form post each day, sprinkled liberally with my opinion. Not in a bid to get clicks, but to engage our community. Whether you agree or disagree, I genuinely enjoy discussing these sorts of topics.

    • reply
      April 11, 2016 3:15 PM

      Why did they decide to set a gender by steam id?
      I have trouble following the argument that "they're not taking a choice away from the player, just adding more variety to the player models".

      The moment a different player set exist, they are denying you a choice.
      They seem to want to make some point about race/gender and genetic lottery in the most hamfisted way possible and and judging from the quotes they do come across as pretty dickish.

      • reply
        April 11, 2016 4:19 PM

        The comment stems from the fact that there was never a version of the game where you could choose. So before this update, you could not choose your gender. After this update, you still cannot choose your gender.

    • reply
      April 11, 2016 3:17 PM

      why are you trying inject politcal GENDER IDENTITY bullshit into a video game news story

    • reply
      April 11, 2016 3:34 PM

      To be honest, this quote from the dev rubbed me the wrong way: Technically nothing has changed, since half the population was already living with those feelings.

      He's assuming all women don't like to play a male character in games? That's unfounded and flip.

      I'm in the camp that these developers are dicks.

      • reply
        April 11, 2016 3:41 PM

        Exactly. Even if one applauds what the developer is trying to do, I don't see how one could take their tone any way except glib and flippant.

        • reply
          April 11, 2016 3:56 PM

          Hell I'm going to make a male Dark Souls character this time, because I don't want to hear that particularly tortured female death scream five thousand times. :p

    • reply
      April 11, 2016 3:41 PM

      That actually sounds like a really interesting experiment! And the post describing it seems fine too. While I guess I'm not surprised that some people are up in arms, it strikes me as silly overreaction so far.

    • reply
      April 11, 2016 3:54 PM

      Who gives a shit what your player model looks like

      • reply
        April 11, 2016 3:56 PM

        Also even as an opinion article this is really weak. It's hardly even an opinion, it's just your emotional reactions followed by condemnation and seriously basically a "one line of code" level comment. Boo.

      • reply
        April 11, 2016 3:59 PM

        I like the idea of a random character your game generates for you.

        To me, the weird thing is using Steam info to do it. What other data are they mining, for one, and it doesn't sound like they're exactly using scientific methods to make assumptions from the data they're parsing.

        • reply
          April 11, 2016 4:01 PM

          once they decided to impose the gender rather than making it a choice, using the steam ID makes perfect sense. it means they don't have to store the gender assignment and they don't have to coordinate that between servers. the servers can simply recompute the gender from the steam ID on-the-fly and always come up with the same answer. i wouldn't read too far into that particular aspect of this

          • reply
            April 11, 2016 4:02 PM

            (steam IDs are effectively random for this purpose; they are not based on anything other than your signup date)

        • reply
          April 11, 2016 4:01 PM

          It's probably random but linked to a hash of the name or something. So you have a persistent model but different. Or maybe it doesn't interpret your id at all but just assigns you a model server side. Again, who cares

        • reply
          April 11, 2016 4:02 PM

          I was under the impression that it was just using your SteamID as a seed to generate a random character. Rather than a case of "All SteamID meeting X criteria will result in Y"

          • reply
            April 11, 2016 4:05 PM

            If that's the case, fine. It was hard to tell from the article or the dev blog if there was or wasn't some sort of interpretive parsing based on something more than just the number.

            • reply
              April 11, 2016 4:09 PM

              I could be wrong, but thats certainly how I took it. If they were doing something that was interpretive then I'd say there may be a problem there as that could give away info. I'm not sure how much data is available to developers or how accurate it is.

      • reply
        April 11, 2016 4:04 PM

        Most people? If no one cared then the lack of female protagonists wouldn't be an issue.

      • reply
        April 11, 2016 4:09 PM

        everyone gives huge shits about everything. it's amazing! the information age combined with social media is just amazing! hooray! wait no this fucking sucks and people think their opinion is valid, when it isn't

      • ArB legacy 10 years
        reply
        April 11, 2016 4:15 PM

        I do. Character and vehicle customization among my favourite things to do in games.

    • reply
      April 11, 2016 3:59 PM

      I don't think there is a problem. It kind of sucks to not be able to choose the character model you like, but it's also really interesting to see a game where pot luck determins these things. I don't think the devs really need to take this very seriously, so don't see a problem with their tone.

    • reply
      April 11, 2016 4:06 PM

      Jesus this thread...

      Is it really a surprise that people want to customize their character in a role playing game?

      • reply
        April 11, 2016 4:17 PM

        rust is a role playing game? news to me

        • reply
          April 11, 2016 4:20 PM

          Its a mp survival game, people roleplay in mp games of this kind.

          • reply
            April 12, 2016 7:36 AM

            Ugh, by that reasoning every video game is a role playing game.

            • reply
              April 12, 2016 7:50 AM

              Look at the post below. There is nothing absolutist about the reasoning and I have no idea why you folks seem to have black-and-white comprehension of the argument. It's absurd how some people here try reflexively take a point and push it to a maximum possible outcome so they can argue against it being unreasonable. No not all games need to do everything but if by genre and server population you have already a chunk of people playing it that way the least you can do is listen to their concerns and not be dismissive about their input. Some things people posted here about the developers plans were insightful and helped the developers point more than their own quotes.

              • reply
                April 12, 2016 12:50 PM

                I don't disagree with that, but it's not a role playing game.

        • reply
          April 11, 2016 10:00 PM

          Rust is one of the most heavily RP'd games I've ever played.

      • reply
        April 11, 2016 6:09 PM

        No, but considering people have never had that option in Rust it seems a little weird to get bent out of shape over...still not having that option.

      • reply
        April 12, 2016 7:37 AM

        Rust isn't a role playing game. If people choose to roleplay that's their prerogative. If they can't roleplay a character they're given, they're shitty roleplayers.

        • reply
          April 12, 2016 7:44 AM

          Haha wow you guys are getting really weird about this shit. I guess I don't really fit in here anymore.

    • reply
      April 11, 2016 4:11 PM

      "Facepunch invested the time and energy to create female character models. Surely creating menus full of sliders that let players customize those and other features can't be that much harder to build."

      Come on man :(

      I mean I disagree with the position you take in your article and we can agree to disagree - but this line is just dumb. It makes you sound like every other ignorant gamer forum poster that makes claims about how hard or easy it is to do this feature or that feature. If you have no clue about what it takes to make software, don't make claims about what it takes to make software.

      I guess it bugs me more because I know you're not that ignorant about game development, just based on your books. So that makes a ridiculous claim like this even worse.

      • reply
        April 11, 2016 4:41 PM

        I can understand taking umbrage with that line. We all have bad days at the office; I've felt like my head's full of wool all day.

        However, my next line points out that even a simple gender select screen would do the trick.

        • reply
          April 11, 2016 4:51 PM

          The line is dumb because it's obvious that the entire point was that people couldn't choose their avatar's gender.

        • reply
          April 11, 2016 5:47 PM

          Stop apologizing, David. You have attracted the crazies with this article is all. God forbid you write anything about gender and gaming.

          While it clearly isn't one line of code, it's a standard feature that every game of this type has had for 30 years. I.e., it's clearly not a programming nightmare.

          • reply
            April 11, 2016 6:29 PM

            Isn't this post basically taking Vincent Grayson's reply in the other direction? People who dislike/disagree with the opinion piece are crazies, instead of people being butthurt about continuing to have the same lack of choice during character creation are shitheels?

            • reply
              April 11, 2016 7:21 PM

              People's criticism of this one from post 1 were off-the-charts unwarranted and personal. I can only assume said critics were bringing their own baggage to David's article.

              • reply
                April 11, 2016 9:32 PM

                I think you read a lot more into the posts than I do. Yeah a lot of people bluntly disagree with the article/opinion piece, that's to be expected. And there are some comments that are basically "this suxxx" which don't contribute anything unless the authors come back and elaborate. But I don't feel like there's much at all that's "off the charts" or getting personal.

                Vincent's comment about shitheels for example never struck me as directed towards anyone here. Feels like people want to take things as negatively and personally as possible sometimes.

                • reply
                  April 11, 2016 10:56 PM

                  Considering David Craddock is "one of our own," the harsh tone felt unfair and unjustified. It seemed like David must have touched a nerve with some of the posters here to elicit that kind of response.

                  • reply
                    April 11, 2016 11:06 PM

                    "bringing their own baggage"
                    "must have touched a nerve"

                    See, this is what I'm talking about. Why isn't it just that they just disagree with the guy and tell him so? You don't have to ascribe some dramatic motives to them. Mr. Craddock's seems to be engaging people in the discussion and everyone seems reasonably civil, if not tactful.

      • reply
        April 11, 2016 4:51 PM

        To be fair, a gender selection option would be trivial to implement even if it had to be done in lisp.

        • reply
          April 11, 2016 4:58 PM

          Very few things are actually trivial in software (and especially games) development. An interface would need to be designed. It also needs to be implemented. If character customization is new (which I think it would be in this suggestion) you would actually need to change the flow of steps when heading in to a server. A way to store the choice would need to be added. You would need to ensure that that choice is handled properly in the client/server net code.

          I could go on. Statements like "it would be trivial to implement" is what causes bad software to get made. Every single piece of a complex piece of software should be handled with care, its corner cases and gotchas planned for and handled, UX implications considered and designed, etc etc

          • reply
            April 11, 2016 5:25 PM

            The points you mentioned are valid but it is still basic shit for a proficient front end engineer. Sure, you could over complicate it (especially if you let the wrong people have an opinion on UI) but that could be said about anything.

      • reply
        April 11, 2016 5:28 PM

        One line of code

        • reply
          April 11, 2016 6:08 PM

          npm install -- save gender-sliders

          Done

        • reply
          April 11, 2016 6:46 PM

          Depending on the game engine, maybe not even that. Setting up a boob slider in Construct requires no code, just a basic understanding of logic.

          • reply
            April 11, 2016 7:38 PM

            i bet if you released Boob Slider on steam that was literally nothing but that youd make at least a couple thousand dollars

      • reply
        April 12, 2016 2:46 PM

        Calling his line dumb isn't very nice. You sound like you have personal issues with David? And as a dev I can say he's actually right that it's not that hard to implement something to let people choose their gender. Especially compared with all the other stuff involved with the game. What he's saying is compared to that other more complicated stuff this small thing isn't asking for that much.

        • reply
          April 12, 2016 3:28 PM

          The dumb line was bad, I agree. And no, I like David!

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      April 11, 2016 4:19 PM

      There are several reasons why this is a poor decision, but I wonder if they've considered the financial one - women will be less likely to buy/play the game because creeps will start sending them in game messages. (I'm assuming that's a thing).

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        April 11, 2016 4:44 PM

        Can you elaborate? My understanding from the article was that if anything that behaviour should be curbed because there's no way to know if a female character is being played by a female, since your character is procedurally generated, using your numeric steam ID as the 'seed'

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          April 11, 2016 4:47 PM

          -1 for reading comprehension. I thought male players are only male, and female players are only female based on your steam profile. If it's essentially random, that addresses my concern.

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      April 11, 2016 4:24 PM

      Interesting move, and you're right they should expect backlash. I don't know why a person would be upset though.

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      April 11, 2016 4:24 PM

      I love that they're doing this. I get why people like customization but it wasn't an option in the first place and if it's just this one game doing this, it doesn't seem like a big deal.

      Could their messaging have been better? Yeah probably. But it's a cool experiment.

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      April 11, 2016 4:31 PM

      "More to the point, many players won't appreciate being assigned a gender they don't identify with. For some of these players, video games are the one facet of their lives that allows them to exercise total control over those decisions."

      This is a deeply ironic statement considering the social commentary the devs are trying to make.

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      April 11, 2016 4:32 PM

      Huh, I thought this was already in the game.

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        April 11, 2016 4:39 PM

        They did skin color March 2015 and announced gender July 2015 (not sure why it took them 9 months to implement it after announcing it).

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      April 11, 2016 6:42 PM

      Sheesh, what's with the shitting on David? Like, because we know the author we feel we can be dicks to him?

      SMH, this fucking place, sometimes...

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      April 11, 2016 7:20 PM

      Happy semi-Topical Subthread - Has anyone checked out the characters generated from their Steam IDs yet? Let's see 'em! I am apparently made out of chocolate now.

      NWS for dongers http://images.akamai.steamusercontent.com/ugc/458614058552196606/263A239FC7E534583465C1FFACB080A04D229CFC/

      • reply
        April 11, 2016 7:21 PM

        I had the game for months from when it was included in the (first?) Humble Monthly bundle, but still have never played it. I probably need to.

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        April 11, 2016 8:17 PM

        heh, I too look like I just took a dive in golden corral's chocolate fountain

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      April 11, 2016 7:24 PM

      What a silly thing to get worked up over. It's random and that's the end of it. The quotes by the dev are fine. If you take a wishy washy stance against people that get worked up over this kind of thing you're just going to give them more fuel.

      Then again, when you make statements like that I guess you get opinion pieces like this, so... can't win 'em all?

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      April 11, 2016 7:35 PM

      Does my steam ID have a gender assigned to it? Or is this just saying my gender in game is random and then tied to my steam ID and cant be changed?

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      April 11, 2016 7:39 PM

      They will change their mind once the Steam Refunds tidal wave comes in.

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        April 11, 2016 8:07 PM

        Most people playing the game and complaining about this change have probably already played and purchased past the limit, no?

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        April 11, 2016 8:54 PM

        I doubt that very seriously.

    • Zek legacy 10 years
      reply
      April 11, 2016 7:56 PM

      I don't agree with their decision but I think your article is the only thing that's dismissive here. This is clearly a very intentional statement that they chose to make. One might even say it's intentionally courting controversy, however to call it lazy is just being willfully obtuse.

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      April 11, 2016 8:14 PM

      This is great.

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      April 11, 2016 9:07 PM

      I'm actually interested in picking up the game just to see what SteamID me looks like!

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      April 11, 2016 9:37 PM

      At least shack articles are getting comments

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      April 11, 2016 9:48 PM

      Create controversy to generate publicity... OBJECTIVE COMPLETE

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      April 11, 2016 9:59 PM

      Whew. Just booted it up. Still a man.

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      April 11, 2016 10:04 PM

      Most people are pissed that they can't choose a female to troll as. Because that's gonna be the real fun.

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      April 11, 2016 10:28 PM

      Penis confirmed. No boobs.

      • reply
        April 11, 2016 10:31 PM

        Never been so happy to see a cock between two legs.

    • reply
      April 11, 2016 10:52 PM

      I thought this was old old news?

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      April 12, 2016 2:05 AM

      Hey D-Crad, I like that you made an opinion piece with an opinion. It makes sense to me to question whether trading player agency was worth it. The tone of the dev's comments definitely make it worth contemplating.

      And to be honest, I disagree with you a ton of the time (DS2 is the wurst souls game, bro) but I appreciate you and you speaking your mind. There are some shit posts in this thread (and good ones too), but I think the Shack is pretty good at discourse for what it is and will expend the juice necessary to get through this, regardless. Anyway I just wanted to post this because you're a shack contributor for a long time but now working in a professional capacity recently and I didn't want you to think that the community in whole was really rejecting the very idea of this article. I can tell you really contemplate what you're writing about and I appreciate that, even if I don't agree with it all the time.

      Mostly I just want you to know I think you're going in the right direction, and I appreciate ya :)

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      April 12, 2016 2:15 AM

      It's a nice opinion piece - but I disagree with your opinion :)

      I think its quite refreshing what they are doing - and I usually support the developer in this situation. It's their game and they are free to make it how they want, if people don't like it they will stop playing it.

      They do come across as a bit flippant, but based on the subject matter - I don't blame them, you know the shitstorm this is going to kick up - as a game developer I'd want nothing to do with that whatsoever

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      April 12, 2016 2:33 AM

      I enjoy your opinionated pieces. Nothing wrong with that. But like others above, I disagree with this particular opinion of yours. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with not giving players all the possible choices that you theoretically could, and I don't think it's fair implying it's a matter of "lazy" when there are several ways of looking at this that make it easy to argue that it's actually a good decision... even if you don't agree with those ways of looking at it.

      I should probably give Rust a shot at some point. Kind of had bad experiences with the genre due to how horrible Day Z and a couple of others that I tried early on were tech-wise, and haven't gone back.

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      April 12, 2016 2:55 AM

      It's worth noting that even GTAV, the most expensive computer game ever created, took the character creation sliders away from the player so as to prevent the multiplayer from being full of nothing but identical Caucasian muscle-men.

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        April 12, 2016 6:09 AM

        The reason is they wanted a believable world not one filled with green skinned dented faced freaks.

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      April 12, 2016 3:25 AM

      10 bucks says the same people throwing a shitfit over this on the steam forums are the same crowd who shout down anyone who dares bring up minority representation in video games

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      April 12, 2016 3:39 AM

      This is great idea and I hope they will stick with it regardless of backlash.

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      April 12, 2016 6:52 AM

      I'm a fan of the decision. I don't agree with your assessment but I think you hit at something minorities and women have felt for a long time - that it's a luxury to have a character choice you identify with.

      Making that blanket for everyone is kind of awesome. White people or men not being the norm or the choice you can have at all is cool.

      • reply
        April 12, 2016 7:36 AM

        That's fair! I'm glad you weighed in. My stance came from both my dissatisfaction with the developer's tone, and from this discussion last summer: http://www.shacknews.com/chatty?id=33679105#item_33679105

        Regardless of where we stand, I'd like to thank you for encouraging me to think carefully about gender issues in games where gender ostensibly does not matter.

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          April 12, 2016 7:41 AM

          Rust devs are very active in the community and read the various forums and subreddit often. They joke around a lot and speak to their player base on a more personal level than most developers. The tone garry took was somewhat joking, somewhat poking fun at the people who were upset about race being determined by SteamID.

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            April 12, 2016 7:52 AM

            If you've seen the type of cesspool communities these games generate (like DayZ) I think it's a lot easier to sympathize with the dev's tone. A huge portion of those communities are incredibly ignorant and entitled and they can just get fucked.

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              April 12, 2016 12:48 PM

              Exactly. Since Rust is an online PvP game where you can seriously fuck over other players (destroy their base, steal all their stuff, basically set back hours or days of work) there is a certain attitude around the game. Everybody is an asshole even if they're really not. The developers know this and speak to their community accordingly.

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          April 12, 2016 7:54 AM

          if you ever want to chat more, you know how to find me. your article has made me want to read more about this and write something from my own thoughts on it. so thank YOU. <3

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