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Tactical Ninja - I'll kit YOUR character!

Feb. 5th, 2014

09:41 am - I'll kit YOUR character!

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So yesterday, Bioware announced that ahead of the expected release of Inquisition in spring, they are going to be releasing a series of Character kits. These kits provide views of the game's main characters in costume, from a variety of angles, with insets for close detail.

And the cosplay and fanart worlds rejoiced!


Only, I didn't. I don't know why I'm not all that enthusiastic about the idea.

Well, actually that's not true. I have a couple of inklings...

1. It feels like cheating. Part of the challenge for me is getting screenshots during the game that show exactly the bit I need to see. Having it laid out for me takes that challenge away, and it also limits what I see to what the maker wants me to see.

2. When I do a cosplay, it's an intimate exploration of a character. I think I've mentioned before that I developed a bit of a crush on Cullen when I was working out how to make his armour. I had to think about how he would dress and undress, what sort of things he'd do in his daily life, how he'd move, where it'd rub... *fans self*. *ahem* So anyway, there's a lot of "Who is this person and how do they wear their clothes?" going on when I make a costume. With the stave Freedom's Call, I thought a lot about where it might have come from, what Anders would do with it when fighting, how it got its marks..

You can't do this with a character you don't know, when you haven't seen how they interact with the world. I mean, the one they've released so far is Morrigan, and we all know her, yes. But at least seven years have passed since we last saw her, and a whole lot has happened. She's dressed in.. an Orlesian ball gown?! Something's definitely changed. And while I'm sure lots of people will be able to produce carbon-copy outfits and stand around looking haughty and smug, even the haughty and smug part comes from prior character knowledge and the bit we see in the first promo video.

So for me, the idea of playing a character from a picture without having played them in-game doesn't appeal. It won't be full enough.

3. I can't help but be cynical about the whole idea of pre-release cosplay facilitation. I mean, good on them for cottoning that fanart of all kinds increases interest in the games. They've always supported it and promoted it as a valid and valuable part of gaming culture. I think this is neat - there are plenty of organisations that dismiss cosplay as not relevant, so yay Bioware for recognising. But this feels a bit like using that artistic enthusiasm to get people out and about promoting Inquisition, as part of the pre-release hype. To boil it down to its ugly essence, using fans to get free advertising.

Now, I know that lots of people will enthusiastically embrace the idea, and good for them if they do. After all, if everyone thought like me, life would be pretty boring. But I don't think I'll be among those people. I might get over myself, but to use a character kit for cosplay feels to me, right now, like a shallow cheat that allows me to be manipulated by a corporation into hyping their game for them.

/curmudgeon


Having said that, I am very excited for the game. It's the first game ever that I'll be pre-ordering the collector's edition for, and I plan to take some time off work for my first playthrough. Hi, my name's Tats and I'm an obsessed fan...

..but I think I'm going to start avoiding the hype a little. In the past I've generally played games about a year after their release. It's nice to do that after the bugs are fixed etc, and also to walk in with no real idea what to expect. I think if I keep following Inquisition obsessively, I'll hype myself up for disappointment, and also ruin it a bit for myself by knowing too much about it before I start. I'm not going to obsessively avoid it, but I might stop chasing it now.

Except for the Keep. Did I mention I'd been picked to do early beta testing? EEEEEE!

Comments:

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From:itches
Date:February 4th, 2014 09:05 pm (UTC)
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'I plan to take some time off work for my first playthrough. Hi, my name's Tats and I'm an obsessed fan.

I'm focusing on this point because I'm doing the same thing. I'm taking a holiday! ... to Thedas?
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From:tatjna
Date:February 4th, 2014 09:07 pm (UTC)
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Hahaha! I am taking my holiday up Cullen's overskirt.

I wish I were joking...

... and then I'll be mucking about with leather and chains and horns for a while, and by then the game should be released. And I can go nuts getting to know all these prettily-dressed people again. ;-D

[edit] I'm a dork and can't read. In case you hadn't noticed. ;-) Yeah, I'm not sure whether to take the first or the second week after release off. I'd like to avoid that first couple of days where people are finding all the install bugs, and I dearly hope they don't insist you dl it from Origin because that's 2 days in itself here in NZ..

Edited at 2014-02-04 09:08 pm (UTC)
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From:itches
Date:February 5th, 2014 02:08 am (UTC)
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Yeah the Day 1 bug are horrible, but waiting for them to be fixed would mean waiting, and I don't want to do that. The game will release on Thursday here in Oz, and just waiting for Friday evening when I can start playing will be murder on me.

And you know that they're going to make you download it from Origin. Origin is a "wonderful" service, why wouldn't EA force you to use it every single chance they can. One advantage of playing on a console over a PC, no Origin.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 5th, 2014 02:12 am (UTC)
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I've actually got no beefs with Origin, except that every dl I've ever done from it has been Sllllloooooooowwwwwwww..... other than that it's been basically orange Steam for me. But yeah, I've no desire to take a week off only to spend three days of it waiting for a bloody download. So I might make my week the second one, to allow for downloading and bug fixing before I start to play.

What's that? Delayed gratification ability? Where the hell did that come from?
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From:itches
Date:February 5th, 2014 02:53 am (UTC)
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Is this what growing up is like? It's horrible! I'm going to have ice cream for dinner just to chase it away.

And yeah I don't like Origin (I actually don't much like Steam either, there's that). What I really want to know is if the Keep requires you to use Origin in anyway, besides just an Origin Account. If only I could find someone who could blink some info.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 5th, 2014 02:55 am (UTC)
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Remember the good old days when you bought a disk and shoved it in and away you went? And you could install on any machine with limited faffing?

When I bought ME3 on disk I couldn't bloody install it because my drive was too old and didn't have the right widgets to convince the DRM that it existed. My wrath was mighty!

(and then i caved and dled it from origin because i wanted to play that bad)
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From:itches
Date:February 5th, 2014 03:55 am (UTC)
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Ah, DRM. How I loathe you. I honestly don't play many games on the PC, but when i do I tend to grab them from GoodOldGames. DRM free and a bonus smug sense of superiority to go with it.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 5th, 2014 03:56 am (UTC)
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Hehe yeah, I cottoned on to them recently, and now I'm all OMG LOLLY SHOP! and have to remind myself that I don't have to play every game ever...
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From:itches
Date:February 5th, 2014 04:49 am (UTC)
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If you use twitter, don't follow them. It's just constant news about interesting looking DRM free games being really cheap, and you should totally spend just a few bucks on it right now, who knows when it'll be on sale again!
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From:tatjna
Date:February 5th, 2014 02:15 am (UTC)
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Also, I just checked and would you believe that my usual game supplier is only listing an estimated release date for XboxOne and PS4? I might have to give them a nudge about that.
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From:itches
Date:February 5th, 2014 03:43 am (UTC)
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Your one is giving an estimated release? Is this anything more specific than "Spring" 2014?
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From:tatjna
Date:February 5th, 2014 03:52 am (UTC)
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"Pre-order: Releases 26 Sep 2014 (estimated date)"

So probably no more accurate than yours.
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From:itches
Date:February 5th, 2014 03:57 am (UTC)
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There's two possibilities here. 1) It's a random guess by the retailer that has next to no meaning. or 2) OMG WE KNOW THE RELEASE DATE OF INQUISITION GOTELLEVERYONENOWNOWNOWNOWOMG!

And I know which reality I prefer.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 5th, 2014 04:02 am (UTC)
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Heh, I'm not sure why EA would tell one retailer in NZ and nobody else. But I was kind of hoping it'd be like 1 September. Because 26 whole days into spring? That's FOREVER.
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From:itches
Date:February 5th, 2014 04:46 am (UTC)
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Of all the nonsensical things EA have done, telling a lone NZ retailer early would not be the strangest. (And to be honest, if the game came out in the first month of spring, I'd be happy)
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From:fbhjr
Date:February 4th, 2014 11:10 pm (UTC)
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You can always wait for the game, find a favorite character and then go look at the detailed view.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 4th, 2014 11:12 pm (UTC)
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True. Or I could take my own screenies because that works too. That's how I got to peek down inside Cullen's pauldrons, anyway. ;-D
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From:laughingmagpie
Date:February 5th, 2014 03:14 pm (UTC)
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I get where you're coming from about the kits. I know I can't start a costume until I fall in love with the character either. Still, I'm grateful that Bioware embraces their cosplayers. Paramount used to actively 'Cease and Desist' anyone who made unlicensed Star Trek costumes, and it's my theory on the fabric used in the new Trek uniforms that it was designed to discourage cosplay. Meanwhile, Bioware artists are starting to consider adding more pockets and pouches to make their costumes more practical when fans reproduce them. I'll take it :)

ETA: OMG I forgot to squee over your beta-Keeping! That is fantastic!

Edited at 2014-02-05 03:17 pm (UTC)
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From:tatjna
Date:February 5th, 2014 08:58 pm (UTC)
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EEEeee! I am stoked! Although, nothing's actually happening yet so it's all in the abstract really...

And yes, I love that Bioware acknowledge fanart. There's a lot of reasons to love them. I'm just.. meh over the character kits. But then, nobody's forcing me to use them.
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From:jessicajones_1
Date:February 19th, 2014 09:05 pm (UTC)
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I really like the idea of character kits, but I hear you. I truly appreciate the early pictures because I wanted to get a head start on this costume for SDCC -- I don't usually make costumes before a property comes out but MORRIGAN and PETTICOATS zomg.

But it does feel oddly limiting.

Like now that they've explained that those dots on her skirts are flies, I can't interpret them as hearts or something. And now that they've told me her skirt is officially dark green, am I a failure if I make it black? Because it sure feel black to me, but they've said it's green so...?

It will be interesting to see how they decide which characters to illuminate, and which ones they ignore and leave to us. :)
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From:tatjna
Date:February 19th, 2014 09:10 pm (UTC)
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True. Although if you wanted to be really subversive you could use that metallic black satin that goes green in certain lights and looks for all the world like the shiny stuff on the back of a fly...

I suspect I'll end up cosplaying all the obscure ones that don't have kits.

I'm also finding myself having a weird aversion to Vivienne, even though I know little about her. If any of the other games are anything to go by though, she'll be well written enough that I might change my mind when I play. Which for me, is another reason to not try cosplaying anyone I haven't got to know.
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