HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT PROFANITY IN RPG MAKER GAMES?

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author=nurvuss
I would *love* to see a game with a foul-mouthed axe-swingin' hard-drinkin' priestess.


A priestess in one of my games is like that, actually... =w= ( not that extensive on the swearing side tho )
author=nurvuss
The line about Arche kinda tickled me to be honest--if I recall, that's the only bit of inappropriate profanity in that translation (correct me if I'm wrong, it's been over a decade since I played that version). If the characters continued speaking like that, I would've been annoyed and probably would've stopped playing. Moderation is key!


I'm pretty sure it was the only instance of the word "fuck," but it wasn't the only instance of sexualized content.

Personally, I felt that content improved the translation; the characters don't spend more time preoccupied with sex than ordinary people their age, if anything they spend less, but far from being out of place I feel like it added some verisimilitude.
Like Desertopa said, if cursing informs the character, then leave it in. The danger with going out of your way to avoid profanity is that you come off as hokey because it's a transparent evasion of a curse word. The whole Battlestar Galactica "frak" shit, for example, just drives me up the wall. It's like when you're a kid and you say "shit" in front of the teacher, then she goes, "Excuse me?" and you say "I meant crap," then she glares at you and you say, "crud?" The fact is you still mean "shit," but you're taking all the power out of your words.

All that's to say: use the appropriate word for the appropriate place. If the right word is a curse word, then don't drain it of its power because of your personal feelings over it.
heh, Shadowrun's infamous "hey drek-head" always just made me feel embarrassed for whoever wrote that.
It all depends on the context. If someone swears as a way to convey frustration/shock at an extreme situation, then it's understandable.
Rave
Even newspapers have those nowadays.
290
As said above, it depends on the context. Setting doesn't need to discourage "hardcore" swearing (f, etc.) either, e.g. if game is a comedy/satire that under guise of medieval rpg really comments on current events (my game isn't even close to that, but some characters DO swear, but none of the main ones, except for one instance I think, so swearing can be skipped entirely if you don't like it).
Depends on context.

If you're making a medieval game, words like "shit" and "fuck" will feel out of place, especially if the characters are plucky young adventurer types or paladins or whatever.

If they're mercenaries or hardened soldiers, it's more fitting, especially if you use swear words that fit the world. Do they swear by the names of their gods? Do they use "Damn" or "Bastard"? That kind of thing.

Use swears to paint a picture of the world, while keeping it to the characters who would realistically swear.

For example, in the game I finished and uploaded, it's about 4 hardened badass soldiers on an assassination mission in a world which has 4 very actively worshiped Gods. As a result, Characters often swear by the gods either individually or as a whole ("Godsdammit" "Oh Gods above" "What in the names of the Gods are you doing?!" "Mercy give me patience", that kind of thing). Figure out what works for your world.

Also, with swearing, less is more powerful. If characters swear a lot in a game, I find I start tuning it out. Whereas, if characters rarely swear, I'll pay more attention to that when they do. (Example, I tuned out Jack's swearing in Mass Effect 2 pretty quick, but when Tali said the admiralty board could "go to hell", that took me aback and it was all the more powerful)
author=nurvuss
heh, Shadowrun's infamous "hey drek-head" always just made me feel embarrassed for whoever wrote that.


It's pretty silly in Shadowrun Returns as well, since the word "fuck" is allowed, but not "shit", which is replaced with "Drek"... XD
I think that shit is a much more sensible word than say, poop, or crap, or feces, or BM or whatever else I can come up with, when talking about excrement, I don't know about everyone else's fantasy medieval worlds but in mine people aren't squeamish about that sort of thing so euphemisms, and god forbid, medical terms, would be much more jarring.
author=Rod_Wadd
I think that shit is a much more sensible word than say, poop, or crap, or feces, or BM or whatever else I can come up with, when talking about excrement, I don't know about everyone else's fantasy medieval worlds but in mine people aren't squeamish about that sort of thing so euphemisms, and god forbid, medical terms, would be much more jarring.


When describing fecal matter, yes, "shit" is fine in any medieval world, IMO.

I mean just using it as a regular swear word, like "Oh shit! The dragon is attacking!". That kinda feels...too modernish for me.
Obviously, I haven't released a game yet, but when it comes to profanity I try to avoid it. However, there are certain situations where I would allow it in the game I'm building. For example, here is the dialog for a scene when a defeated demon soldier decides to self-destruct:

DEMON: You may have defeated me, but you won't survive this! HA-HA-HA!
ALEX: What?! Oh shit! Take cover!
(The demon explodes engulfing the corridor in fire. Alex and Katrina dash around the corner just in time)
KATRINA: I hate it when they do that...

(End scene)

In that situation, a little profanity makes perfect sense. Alex is trying not to get burned alive. In general, I would not use profanity for the sake of using it. When you use words to often, they begin to lose their meaning.
author=Aegix_Drakan
Depends on context.

If you're making a medieval game, words like "shit" and "fuck" will feel out of place, especially if the characters are plucky young adventurer types or paladins or whatever.


While there's definitely something to be said for keeping the language evocative of the setting, I think that trying to deliver an antiquated style of speech often leads to shoddy, affected dialogue. Since your setting probably isn't our own world several centuries in the past, and even if it is, you're almost certainly not going to pull off dialogue that's accurate to the period, I think that in many situations, it's reasonable to assume that the whole game is operating under a Translation Convention. As long as the audience sees the dialogue as being in keeping with the spirit of the game, then questions of whether it's period appropriate become immaterial.

I for one have a very low tolerance for inexpert attempts at "period appropriateness." The original Final Fantasy Tactics is known for having a bad translation, but I consider the dialogue of the War of the Lions remake to be vastly worse because of the faux-Elizabethian purple prose. Aside from some mangled parts in the tutorial and some irrelevant quest events, the original game had dialogue which tended to be simple, direct, and didn't sound like it was trying to evoke any particular time period or setting, so my focus generally remained on the content rather than the language. On the other hand, the flowery speech of the War of the Lions translation got under my skin, because it constantly triggered my "real people don't talk like this!" response.
pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
29202
Profanity is merely slang. On the one hand, I have no problem with profanity in any writing. What I do have a problem with is opening a book or starting a game and before you even get three seconds in, the F-bomb is being dropped at least once every sentence. There's no reason for it. I was recently told it's realism. To be honest, I've been in a bar full of drunks...you know what, screw that: I've tuned a piano in a VFW hall. That means a bunch of drunk vets! "Fuck" is the least of the words that fly around these rooms. As profane as the atmosphere was in these places, I can't honestly recall that there was at least two swear words per sentence, as some writers might suggest for a drunken gathering. I would dare say that these people used these words as often as they've been found in this paragraph, which leads me to believe that while a drunk vet may swear without restraint, profanity isn't the dominant feature of his vocabulary.

Please, don't overload on profanity and tell me it's realism. Someone at some bar may talk like that, but there's no reason to tell a story like that. There's no point and it distracts from the narrative.

I don't avoid swearing, but I don't go out of my way to write a swear word either. As such, I've discovered that literally any situation can be convincingly written without having to use profanity in any capacity. I don't even have to say "gosh darn" "golly gee" or make up words like frak.

author=Rod_Wadd
I think that shit is a much more sensible word than say, poop, or crap, or feces, or BM or whatever else I can come up with, when talking about excrement, I don't know about everyone else's fantasy medieval worlds but in mine people aren't squeamish about that sort of thing so euphemisms, and god forbid, medical terms, would be much more jarring.


Well, it doesn't make sense in such games because the words didn't exist or were only just developing and simply didn't hold the same meaning. Fuck and shit are both good examples:

Fuck is as old as the 15th century and may find its origin in the Dutch fokken; meaning to thrust. Other sources cite Norwegian fukka; to copulate and Swedish focka; to strike or to push. Old English scite and Middle Low German schite both mean dung while Old English scitte means diarrhea. This word traces back the 14th century. So no, fuck and shit were not part of King Arthur's lexicon. If anything, your medieval game would have to be toward the beginning of the Renaissance. But don't feel bad: versions of the word were in use as early as the Ancient Greek word, "skor".

As a matter of fact, there are actually academic groups attempting to catalog the swear words of ancient history. In the Arthurian communities, these threads can be a lot of fun.
Well, it doesn't make sense in such games because the words didn't exist or were only just developing and simply didn't hold the same meaning. Fuck and shit are both good examples


I think strictly "making sense" and being jarring are two different things. I've never seen any game that reads like the Canterbury Tales on here, so I think that doesn't really say anything against my original point, that "shit" works better than "poop."
@pianotm: It's probably a bad idea to write a game using Middle English. Most people wouldn't be able to understand it. I mean, they used fert instead of fart for God's sake. I don't know, though--maybe it could work as a single character in a large ensemble that lampoons the need for accurate period speech.

author=Rod_Wadd
I think that shit is a much more sensible word than say, poop, or crap, or feces, or BM or whatever else I can come up with, when talking about excrement, I don't know about everyone else's fantasy medieval worlds but in mine people aren't squeamish about that sort of thing so euphemisms, and god forbid, medical terms, would be much more jarring.


I think that "evacuating your bowels" is easily the grossest way to say "taking a shit."
pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
29202
@Housekeeping I think a game that was a love letter to Monty Python might use this to great effect. "I FERT in your general direction!"

Of course, writing a game in Middle or Old English could also be good for some lulz, but I wasn't suggesting that in the slightest.

@Rod_Wadd That may be fine for you but there is a large group of people who will call you out for inaccuracies. And why would anybody want to write anything like the Canterbury Tales? That travesty is the most boring piece of purple prose ever conceived. And just because you haven't seen games with excellent writing doesn't mean they're not on here. I direct your attention to Myth Xaran, Fey, Notes on the Edgosian Crisis, and Zephyrus and the Kingdom of Heaven.

Sorry, I don't do anything for "shock" value. I consider it lazy writing. You can shock without having to resort to cheap tricks. Vulgarity in my writing has to, has to, has to come with the character. I am considering making a game based on my favorite Arthurian tale. It's kind of ironic, actually, for one who has so heavily read English and French Arthurian literature, my favorite should happen to be a 13th century Spanish romance. Translation convention aside, I promise I won't be using any swear words that create an anachronism.

More than one film has failed due to lack of attention to detail. "King Arthur" (2004) is an excellent example of a movie that completely crashed and burned for no other reason than it didn't get the particulars right. That movie was written based on the recent theory that King Arthur was of Sarmatian descent. Linda Malcor, the woman who came up with that theory is a friend of mine. She was a senior consultant in that movie, and they never even spoke to her until they were nearly finished making the film. She was furious when she saw the finished product. Even mention that movie and she would go into a tirade, but what would the audience, or the profanis vulgar know? They didn't but they understood that the film essentially wasn't right.

Attention to details is everything and if you don't care, then don't expect anyone else to.
author=pianotm
@Rod_Wadd That may be fine for you but there is a large group of people who will call you out for inaccuracies. And why would anybody want to write anything like the Canterbury Tales? That travesty is the most boring piece of purple prose ever conceived. And just because you haven't seen games with excellent writing doesn't mean they're not on here. I direct your attention to Myth Xaran, Fey, Notes on the Edgosian Crisis, and Zephyrus and the Kingdom of Heaven.


I think you've entirely missed the point of what I was saying. I wasn't talking about "good writing." I was saying that since no one attempts to be "true" to the language used over 500 years ago in any other aspect, being called out by large groups of people for using the word "shit" seems a little silly.
I used to be very into historically-correct speech for characters, and by "historically-correct", I mean true to what a character would say. This entailed free use of profanity.

Later on, I realized that there was another layer to storytelling, the layer of the self-conscious reader. The state of the dialogue between the author and the reader leaves characters not autonomous life forces, but tools by which an author conveys an emotion, setting, or thesis. Profanity is often a moot point in this sense, because the only thing it can truly do, is tell the reader that the author's character is nervous enough to use it. That is the nature of the choice of profanity, if the character is aware of more than one mode of language.

RPG Maker games are often not sophisticated enough in their storytelling technique to make the reader aware of the character's distinction between these two modes, which is what creates the impression of "camp": the author's inability to enact an engrossing reader-author dialogue.
Sometimes a precision F-strike is all that is needed to bring a point home. But if its just used just because, it loses impact and just comes off as tacky, petty and immature usage.
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