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Thread: Are there going to be POC (People of Color) in The Banner Saga?

  1. #21
    Junior Member Oskmey's Avatar
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    I can see POC exisiting within large viking settlements, but if there where any then they would most likely be foreign traders selling the goods they brought.

    It is very unlikely that they would be part of warring society. Also, in these times, religion had a major role for the people. So for a muslim/arab/mor to take part of a society that was not sharing their religion would probably not happend.

    And as far as a wise mor warrior to just pop up and be welcomed into the society would be even more unlikely. The vikings would rather listen to their own elders, jarls and kings then to listen to an outsider. The jarls and kings would think that this mor was trying to unsurp authority, and he would likely be exiled or killed.


    This topic should probaly be in the longhouse section (general discussion) and not a part of the Beginner's Circle, not that it matters much.
    Last edited by Oskmey; 03-05-2013 at 09:05 AM.

  2. #22
    Junior Member BJSV's Avatar
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    I want Antonio Banderas as my viking. xD

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgensager View Post
    I don't know where people arguing "POC" lived among the Vikings in Scandinavia get their facts, but it sounds very implausible. If you have any trustworthy links on this I would be interested, however most of what is presented as arguments in this thread so far largely appears as grasping at straws to me.


    I love how POC is very implausible and breaks one out of their " immersion in the world" but a race of Giants? No problem! Skin color is a strange place to draw the line of gritty realism and historical accuracy, given the stylized fantasy of the game. You'd be way more likely to see a Steppe Archer in a long boat than a Shieldbanger
    Last edited by OldManBobson; 03-05-2013 at 11:31 PM.

  4. #24
    Senior Member Jorgensager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldManBobson View Post
    I love how POC is very implausible and breaks one out of their " immersion in the world" but a race of Giants? No problem! Skin color is a strange place to draw the line of gritty realism and historical accuracy, given the stylized fantasy of the game. You'd be way more likely to see a Steppe Archer in a long boat than a Shieldbanger
    I don't think you understood what I was arguing, which was the factual claims of some people in this thread. Using those as justification is illogical because they don't hold water. If the argument is to include "POC" because it's a fantasy game and they can do what they want, then that is not something I can argue with.

    OTOH, including characters/animals based on Norse myths makes sense. If that includes artistic freedom on the colouring, then again, that is not something I can argue with, even if I don't agree (it's a matter of opinion).

  5. #25
    Backer Zahar's Avatar
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    It could be used IF the character(s) were interesting.

    For instance, later on the saga (it will be a trilogy) the vikings could meet Roman troops in the isle of Britain - and those roman troops could have drafted some Numidian infantry after they fought Hannibal of Carthage (discovering those numidians are hard to beat as heavy infantry), etc.

    It would be nice. I just don't want collor pallet swaps to allow darker vikings. That kind of politically correct is so fake it makes me feel kinda bad for it.
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  6. #26
    Senior Member Jorgensager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zahar View Post
    It could be used IF the character(s) were interesting.

    For instance, later on the saga (it will be a trilogy) the vikings could meet Roman troops in the isle of Britain - and those roman troops could have drafted some Numidian infantry after they fought Hannibal of Carthage (discovering those numidians are hard to beat as heavy infantry), etc.
    The Romans and Vikings raged around in Britain in different centuries, and Hannibal died around 600 years before the Viking Age begun... so if they want to come up with something to introduce differently-coloured humans [for whatever reason], I'd hope for the fantasy argument rather than far-fetched, implausible historical links.

  7. #27
    Again, I don't think historical accuracy is really germane to anything in a game that has magical giants as one of the key races. So vikings fighting Romans would be inaccurate, but Ice Trolls would be accurate? Nonsense. If you're looking for historical accuracy in your PVP game play, One of the total war titles would be more up your alley.


    That said, if you're looking for racial diversity in your PVP game, a game based on vikings is probably not where you should look, either.



    One thing I found interesting about this game is the designers said they wanted to draw on other fantasy influences besides dwarfs, elves and orcs, so went with a Viking theme. I Found that strange, because Dwarfs and elves, at the very least, come from the same germanic/norse mythological tradition that this game is drawing on. LOTR was very much inspired by that mythological tradition. So, if this game is really going to be drawing on the myths of the north, I think that well is going to dry up fast without employing the elf/dwarf style.

    I think , for the long term health of the game ( and this is sheer speculation here), that there's only so much Viking material for them to draw on. I think they will have to introduce other peoples besides vikings ( and I do NOT think consideration should be given to the historical accuracy in developing these other factions) I think many cultures have rich fantastic traditions, you could easily have a Japanese style faction with samurai and asian dragons, North african elephant riders, Steppe horse people and on and on. If diversity ever comes to the game, it shouldn't probably be in the viking faction, but should be in other factions that are eventually brought in.

    That's all assuming that the game is a hit ( which it seems to be already) and they want to expand the PVP beyond it's modest ( but fantastic) roots. I think eventually they will.

  8. #28
    Backer Zahar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgensager View Post
    The Romans and Vikings raged around in Britain in different centuries, and Hannibal died around 600 years before the Viking Age begun... so if they want to come up with something to introduce differently-coloured humans [for whatever reason], I'd hope for the fantasy argument rather than far-fetched, implausible historical links.
    If you take it historycally accurate, vikings were little more than an annoyance to europe, raiders at best. They should make a game about Macedonians, Romans or Mogols.

    Still, we're all playing a game about Vikings as if they were incredibly relevant because they were cool - and the same apply to numidians in Hannibal army, it's a very cool detail that can make we feel like it's there for a reason. Ok, wrong year, so a numidian FAMILY tracing to Hannibal army that lead to a soldier left by a roman legion that settled in Britain countryside, etc; they can come up with a story, my point is - there are pseudo-historic ways to make it work, just don't come with black vikings for political reasons alone, that kind of thing destroy the immersion.
    Alea Jacta Est

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  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Zahar View Post
    If you take it historycally accurate, vikings were little more than an annoyance to europe, raiders at best. They should make a game about Macedonians, Romans or Mogols.
    This is not historically accurate. While the Alexander the Great was certainly a more centralized conqueror, the Romans were a historically great empire, and the mongols were a hybrid of both of those, the Vikings were much more than "raiders at best". The Vikings conquered deep into what is modern russia. In fact, that Name "Russia" comes from "Rus" which was the slavic name for Vikings. The State of Kievan Rus was founded directly by Vikings, Kiev itself freed from Khazar tribute in 882 ( There's some people of color for you, vikings fighting Turkic Horse archers)

    The raiding was so bad in western europe ( Paris was sacked by vikings) that the king of France gave the coastal area to one tribe of Vikings, whom they called the "Normans" (North Men) to form a buffer between the Viking raiders and france. I'm sure you know what the Norman's did, but if you don't, they 1) Conquered england 2) formed the kingdom of the two Sicilies, 3) Created the Principality of Antioch, the longest lasting crusader state 4) nearly crushed the Byzantine empire. by the time the Principality of Antioch was formed, they could hardly be considered vikings anymore, but they were the direct legacy of Vikings. Also, the Kingdom of Sweden was formed by vikings, which eventually became one of the most powerful states in Europe until they lost the Great Northern War.


    My point is, that the Viking Age, while not the organized empire of Rome or the Mongols, had a wide ranging impact all across Europe, from Ireland in the West to the Urals in the east, from Norway in the north to Sicily in the south. They were more than raiders.

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Zahar View Post
    It would be nice. I just don't want collor pallet swaps to allow darker vikings. That kind of politically correct is so fake it makes me feel kinda bad for it.
    Actually, it can be worse than fake--in Dragon Age: Origins, you can play as a noble of any skin color--but you'll still have white parents. Saying that Vikings have multiple skin tones is one thing (one can imagine that's how your viking society works); making a random superficial change that violates the basically Mendelian genetics that apply to everyone else is another.

    I have no problem with Vikings from a certain island being dark-skinned, or brown-skinned, or purple, or green. It's a fantasy world, with its own rules. But it seems to me that skin tone ought to be there for a purpose, just like any other narrative element. Otherwise, things become ... silly.

  11. #31
    Backer Morgenstern72's Avatar
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    First, I would like to see some evidence that POC did fight among "vikings" (which never called themselves that way; fara í víking = "to go on an expedition") in such a scale, that you would really have a chance to see them as standard part of society.

    As in Africa you could and can find very light skinned people (Berber, Tuareg) and it is pretty obvious that some of them made it to mix with darker skinned people, still most would find a game based on African traditions and legends of the deep heart of Africa quite strange, when you would have light skinned people among them. Especially the people, that cry now for POC in this setting, would see most likely an affront. that the "white man" has to be everywhere.

    Let's face it: the cradle of humankind is Africa and we all have dark skinned ancestors. That's a fact and nothing to get emotional about it. The more black you are, the more pure homo sapiens you are. The more white you are, the more neandertal genes you have (https://bit.ly/10lAm7J). Still we changed skin color and appearance over the years and jsut because something can exist, it does not mean, it has to portrayed as a standard.

    But these facts have nothing to do with game settings, dipping deep into norhern legends. In this legends you read of gods, dwarves, giants, dragons, wolves and many more things , but not about POC. And that's the only reason there is, that no POC are in this game. Every other interpretation is trying to force a political correct agenada in trying to shame people that they are racist, when they are clearly not.

    And what then about gay people? Or transgender? They certainly existed. Shall every game show any possible combination just because it existed? Or is it allowed to experience a legend and fairy tale, just with some basic setting? I strongly believe it is and the game is good as it is!

  12. #32
    It's pretty weird that people are trying to make historical arguments about whether or not POC belong in a fantasy setting. It's a fantasy setting. One drawn from a particular cultural tradition, but that doesn't mean you can't add different skin colour options to the game.

    I don't really see who it hurts, other than people getting butthurt about some kind of "political correct agenda" which is both delightful and hilarious that people are worried about that sort of thing.

  13. #33
    Junior Member R00K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreylad View Post
    It's pretty weird that people are trying to make historical arguments about whether or not POC belong in a fantasy setting. It's a fantasy setting. One drawn from a particular cultural tradition, but that doesn't mean you can't add different skin colour options to the game.

    I don't really see who it hurts, other than people getting butthurt about some kind of "political correct agenda" which is both delightful and hilarious that people are worried about that sort of thing.
    I agree, I think.

    The big question is why is it necessary? Will leaving things as they are mean that transparent people will have more fun than people of colour? If the issue is identity, what about gender or species? "I don't want to play giants and women because they don't look like me."

    It would be interesting to hear from the devs about motivation for the particular colour palette. I'm sure there was no racial motivation, and therefore no need to "fix" it.

    Gl hf.

  14. #34
    Junior Member shipwreck's Avatar
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    It's not necessary at all. This is the same line of thinking that people take when they claim Tolkien was racist.

    The only thing that matters is whether or not it suits the characters and story. If it doesn't, leave it alone.

    So there!

  15. #35
    Junior Member Bjarki's Avatar
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    .....
    Last edited by Bjarki; 04-21-2013 at 01:37 PM.

  16. #36
    Member SeraphimLoki's Avatar
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    Why does it always "black people" whine about rasism? There arnt any asian vikings in the game, have you seen asians whining about not having asians in Wow,TBSF counterstirke or whatever? Oh just get over it it. This is a game about viking if you want to go historical then most likely a black person would be killed by viking or slaved as a wrose kind. Im not an Norweyan but if i would be, i wud feel offended if someone even say that there where black vigins, thats a missmatching the history. Have nothing to do with rasisim.

  17. #37
    Senior Member Rensei's Avatar
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    Don't know if I am allowed to speak as a white person, but I think I would feel more offended being called PoC than simply black. Who comes up with those names?

  18. #38
    Backer Aethelric's Avatar
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    "PoC" is used as a catch-all term for non-white people; it's a fairly common and accepted in the context of social justice discussion, but certainly some people dislike the term for various reasons. It's a useful term, though, so it gets used.

    The Vikings interacted (as traders, raiders and conquerors, at different times and in different places) with people of every skin tone imaginable. Completely excluding these cross-cultural interactions from the story would be to ignore a very important and valuable part of the Viking lifestyle and experience. There's no need for a lily-white game, why make one?

  19. #39
    Senior Member Butters's Avatar
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    I post in this thread against my better judgement...

    You know what else was an important and valuable part of the Viking lifestyle and experience ? Farming. Do you want that in Saga too ?
    Setting aside the fact that TBS is not a historical recreation of Viking culture...
    Every game takes from its setting the elements that the devs consider useful towards advancing the story they want to tell or the gameplay they want to achieve. Assuming that TBS's world is set in a world similar enough to ours that it includes foreign lands with people of different skin coloration (why would it be ?), I don't see what reason there is for this part of the game world in particular to be put forth regardless of relevance to the story or art direction.
    I also don't understand the argument that we need to be able to palette swap characters into having black, green, or blue skin. What exactly is the purpose ? This is not about integrating different cultural influences, just skin tones with 0 background or consistency ? What does that achieve ?

  20. #40
    Senior Member Kletian999's Avatar
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    Any art variation is extra work for the artists, then the UI programmer must code some way to select that variation, then Cut scenes must track and reproduce those variations, etc.

    Another thing I think people forget is that artists create what know how to make and like to see unless it serves a specific purpose. If not careful the effort does not come out well. My wife who does her own writing constantly remarks on female characters in books written by male authors, how "wrong" they are with admittedly some exceptions. When you ask an artist to draw "A person of color" are they supposed to draw what they'd draw "normally" in a different skin tone, should they represent the phenotype differences in that race or avoid them in fear of making "racist caricatures".

    From what I've picked up, the art thus far has been old-Disney inspired while using motion capture of the Stoic team and friends/family. They'd need good reference material to do a comparable job with alternate races.

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