Dark or Light

Progress Marches On

Tim Eisen Posted:
Columns 0

City State Entertainment seems to be nearing the battlefield on the march to beta picking up new soldiers along the way. While I don’t think they are running at optimal staff as of yet, it seems they grow closer by the day thanks to their friends on the West side of this girthy country we call America! The update last week built directly on the one before it.

One of the main stories that emerged from all the completions (and there were a lot) is that tech additions seem to be dwindling, at least for now. Surprisingly I see that as a good thing. That means the foundation of beta has been laid and they are building vertically instead of horizontally. We are seeing more and more of second and third passes at systems that are already implemented. Our belated beta home has walls folks, at least I think that is what I’m seeing. Hell if I know, I’m only as qualified as any of you, probably less in most ways. /shrug

Many of us have been part of the obsessive march to beta more times than we would like to remember. Considering the crowd funded adjustment that makes this journey unique, this feels like something I’ve never experienced before. In the old day’s news was so slim and so far in between it was easy to drift away from a game then come back when beta was near. With the weekly crowd funded news cycle in effect I’ve never felt closer on the march.

Like all things that comes with its own boons and banes. I wouldn’t say I feel like a soldier, but maybe like one of the peasants that followed the troops and set up shop outside of camp hoping to provide a few services. I suppose I’d be a poet back then, recording and reciting the many great feats I witnessed along the way then ninja looting when I had the chance…

It has been a march rife with attrition for me and I’d guess many other backers as well. I can’t imagine how taxing it must be for the soldiers sitting in the room trying to develop this game. The hopes and dreams of thousands of pre-paid customers resting in your broad but weary shoulders. Watching your every move. Reading all the updates with a microscope then dissecting them in a bi-weekly column…I…I mean…that is what all of us do right?

Maybe this week I’ll take a step back and talk about a shift I’ve seen within the world of gaming. While I don’t want to ramble on about the bullet points one did inspire me to turn down this road. Work on female avatars continues.

It’s not lost on me (although it is odd) that games that have been in testing for years still haven’t gotten around to female avatars. That got me thinking back to a time before women played video games, at least it seemed like they didn’t. They certainly didn’t create them! Things were different back then. I was a young emotionally withdrawn boy with a gift for playing video games on a journey to California with my brother Corey and his main squeeze Haley. (que dreamy music) Wait no, stop. That is the plot to “Wizard” Nintendo’s infamous movie length commercial for Mario 3 (and unofficial pre-quill to Rain Man by the way). Ok, que that music again.

Way back then I heard rumors of girls that played Super Mario and Tetris but I never met one that did. The girl in Wizard seemed to know about e-sports. I can vaguely recall a game of Madden with a girl (or maybe it was a dream). I think I saw one playing the claw game at the arcade once but it could have just been a guy with long hair. I suppose the archaic stigma that gamers were losers without lives didn’t exactly encourage them. Crazy, isn’t it? I mean to think, just 27 years ago Wizard invented e-sports! Spoiler alert, don’t watch it unless you want to ruin the discovery of the warp whistle in Mario 3 (I’ve said too much already).

Oh, um, for you kids, “arcades” were ancient gaming temples where gamers physically went to test their skill in PVP matches not unlike what you beliebers might experience via PokemonGo Gyms.

That was then. Progress always stumbles but just as assuredly it gets back up and marches onward.  Whether they know it or not I’ve seen it reflected in City State Entertainment. Camelot Unchained has had female characters in testing since the very beginning. Those Female characters feature functional armor for battle. “No chain mail bikinis” in battle has been said from day one.

Much of the lore of Camelot Unchained features strong independent women in powerful roles as well (and not in a “make us money because it worked in Hunger Games” kind of way-I’m looking at you Hollywood). City State Entertainment employs several talented women in positions that just a few years ago were almost entirely male dominated. Before you think I’m claiming an industry wide trend based on one studio realize CSE isn’t just one, it’s one of many studios that are in a similar position because times are changing.

For every woman that is driven off the double-edged sword that is social media by toxic behavior it seems 5 more start streaming. Old gamer stigmas are dying and female gamers are part of that changing image. I often say we are at the beginning of a technological Renaissance. Gaming has come a long way with only 50% of the population contributing near 100% of the ideas. I’m excited to see what new advances happen because of female gamers becoming female developers and inspiring others to pursue that dream as well. 


Tim Eisen

I roleplay a wordsmith that writes about the technological and social evolution within the game industry