Humble Weekly Bundle Celebrates Leading Ladies in Games

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Humble Weekly Bundle Celebrates Leading Ladies in Games

long live the queen by hanako games

The latest Humble Weekly Bundle includes games with female protagonists and supports Girls Make Games.

This week's Humble Weekly Bundle includes an assortment of seven games with female protagonists and helps fund scholarships for young women through Girls Make Games.

Humble Bundles are a series of collections where customers can pay what they want. Customers can also adjust how much of their money goes where, such as how much goes to a developer, how much goes to a charity, and how much goes to Humble Bundle.

Included in the Leading Ladies Weekly bundle for pay what you want is Lilly Looking Through, Ms. Splosion Man, The Cat Lady, and Defender's Quest: Valley of the Forgotten. At $6 or more, you also receive Long Live the Queen and The Yawhg. Finally, at $10 or more, you also receive Valdis Story: Abyssal City.

The developers don't all have leading ladies on staff like their games do, but one developer in particular, Hanako Games (Long Live the Queen), was founded by a woman. Of Geeta Games (Lilly Looking Through), the list is mostly male, and the four-person team of The Yawhg has equal men and women.

Girls Make Games is a series of international summer camps, workshops, and game jams for girls held by LearnDistrict, an independent studio in San Jose, California. Proceeds from the Humble Weekly Bundle Leading Ladies goes to the developers of the games, Humble Bundle, and Girls Make Games' scholarship fund. Customers can adjust how much of their purchase goes to whom.

According to Girls Make Games, women only make up 12% of the game industry. The summer camps, workshops, and game jams have the goal of teaching and encouraging girls to make their own games.

Source: Humble Bundle

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Impossible. We keep hearing there are no female protagonists, to the point where Jim had to grab a dinosaur from Primal Rage as the only example of a good female protagonist. There for this bundle, and the hundreds of games on steam, don't exist.

I'm questioning the timing on this. Is it purposeful or really really coincidental?

Hmmm, I thought the Escapist was against publishing information that helps females get into the game industry. I guess that is only the case when they are following the blacklist made by those who fill their pockets?

Long Live the Queen is a great game, though the principal game mechanic is to try (and inevitably fail) to keep an unprepared teenage Queen alive from a variety of assassins and dangers. It's also heavily stat based and quite complex, so it's not exactly an action-adventure romp.

"Long Live the Queen" is worth the price alone.

It's like Dark Souls, for visual novels.

Tanis:
"Long Live the Queen" is worth the price alone.

It's like Dark Souls, for visual novels.

That is the best comparison I have ever seen. Also the most apt comparison I've seen.

It's a surprisingly challenging game, and it's a lot of fun to make your character in wildly different ways. (And not gonna lie, the outfits are rad.)

Ukomba:
Impossible. We keep hearing there are no female protagonists, to the point where Jim had to grab a dinosaur from Primal Rage as the only example of a good female protagonist. There for this bundle, and the hundreds of games on steam, don't exist.

It's almost like that episode had more conditions to it than simply being female.

OT: While I liked Long Live the Queen, I did wish it was a bit longer. If you get rid of all the times you die because you didn't master poison or acrobatics, it's really short. Still fun taking a fourteen(?) year old princess and absolutely crushing the foreign invaders so much that they're country falls apart.

Ukomba:
Jim had to grab a dinosaur from Primal Rage as the only example of a good female protagonist.

Either you didn't understand the purpose of the video or you are willfully misrepresenting it. Vertigo isn't the only good female protagonist. The purpose of the video was pointing out that Vertigo was one of the few female protagonists who didn't fall under a certain category like all of the rest. Like comparing Nathan Drake (an attractive Male lead) to Wario (a unique and strange character). It's just that Females have a lot more Nathan Drakes and a lot less Warios.

I'm simplifying this a lot so I encourage people to check out the video themselves.
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/jimquisition/8177-Vertigo

Anyway with that being said...

I'm not sure what to think about this campaign. It's nice to open up the doors and make more people feel included. I'm sure that at least part of the reason why there are less women in gaming and game development is because of it becoming something of a male space. But I'm just not sure how many girls who didn't have a previous interest in game design would suddenly hop on the ball and be convinced otherwise. I would think that most women who wanted to become game designers did it despite some of the adversity. I'm interested in what kind of impact this could have on the industry in even 10 years time.

Ukomba:
Impossible. We keep hearing there are no female protagonists, to the point where Jim had to grab a dinosaur from Primal Rage as the only example of a good female protagonist.

You got it wrong. He said a good female anti-hero protagonist.

I have a dilemma. I want to support this package and charity, but don't want any of those games nor do I want to make a truly charitable donation (i.e. without free stuff attached to it). Is there a way to donate the money to this charity and get different games from Humble Bundle?

heh.

Oh. I was expecting stuff like Tomb Raider or Portal, not indies.

CaitSeith:

Ukomba:
Impossible. We keep hearing there are no female protagonists, to the point where Jim had to grab a dinosaur from Primal Rage as the only example of a good female protagonist.

You got it wrong. He said a good female anti-hero protagonist.

Who also wasn't conventionally attractive, and who's motivation wasn't tied to a man.

2xDouble:
I have a dilemma. I want to support this package and charity, but don't want any of those games nor do I want to make a truly charitable donation (i.e. without free stuff attached to it). Is there a way to donate the money to this charity and get different games from Humble Bundle?

heh.

You could always just wait a week or two for them to put up another Humble deal.

Tanis:
"Long Live the Queen" is worth the price alone.

It's like Dark Souls, for visual novels.

That's... that's an apt comparison. Wow, I've never thought of it that way, but it makes so much sense. Brilliant!

Tanis:
"Long Live the Queen" is worth the price alone.

It's like Dark Souls, for visual novels.

I'd say The Cat Lady is definitely worth it too.

The Cat Lady is a horror adventure game.The story involves a 40 year old woman named Susan Ashworth who had recently committed suicide, but got tasked by a old woman who calls herself The Queen of Maggots to kill five psychos or "Parasites." In return, Susan gets the happiness she desires. So she is granted immortality and a second chance in the living world to seek and kill the Parasites.The game does a great job going into topics such as depression and suicide as well as moving away from the traditional horror of a bunch of jump scares (even though the game does have some cheap jump scares). I would definitely recommend it, especially if you're in to playing badass well characterized women, and you enjoy dark, creepy, gorey games with a humor and heart to them.

Windknight:

CaitSeith:

Ukomba:
Impossible. We keep hearing there are no female protagonists, to the point where Jim had to grab a dinosaur from Primal Rage as the only example of a good female protagonist.

You got it wrong. He said a good female anti-hero protagonist.

Who also wasn't conventionally attractive, and who's motivation wasn't tied to a man.

I'd also say the main character of Cat Lady fits this nicely, given that she is 40 years old and isn't really interested in people at all.

Ukomba:
Impossible. We keep hearing there are no female protagonists, to the point where Jim had to grab a dinosaur from Primal Rage as the only example of a good female protagonist. There for this bundle, and the hundreds of games on steam, don't exist.

I'm questioning the timing on this. Is it purposeful or really really coincidental?

Yeah... I mean and these are just the ones they could get for the bundle.

When they complain about the lack of female protagonists, they mean the lack of high-profile female protagonists... which means what they want is the same media attention and marketing campaigns for female characters...which probably ain't gonna happen in AAA.

Never mind that they never count games where the player is allowed to actually choose the gender of their avatar which quickly rules out any MMO, most D&D and RPG games.

Ukomba:
Impossible. We keep hearing there are no female protagonists, to the point where Jim had to grab a dinosaur from Primal Rage as the only example of a good female protagonist.

I think you may have streamlined what Jim said.

Let's look for a playable woman protagonist in a videogame that doesn't rely on the same pool of restrictive stereotypes as every other playable woman protagonist.

To do this, let's look at a fighting game from 1994. That one about the dinosaurs. Yes, that one. Because I damn well sure can't find many better example. Folks, be prepared ... to RAGE.

BigTuk:

When they complain about the lack of female protagonists, they mean the lack of high-profile female protagonists...

Or, you know, he meant what he actually said.

erttheking:

You could always just wait a week or two for them to put up another Humble deal.

It won't be the same charities, though.

roseofbattle:

Tanis:
"Long Live the Queen" is worth the price alone.

It's like Dark Souls, for visual novels.

That is the best comparison I have ever seen. Also the most apt comparison I've seen.

It's a surprisingly challenging game, and it's a lot of fun to make your character in wildly different ways. (And not gonna lie, the outfits are rad.)

I...it took me three hours and four tries from the beginning to beat it with no guide.. I mean there were two other minds at work but they gave me pretty useless advice.

It's unfortunate that the games on the bundle have no interest to me. I want to support this, but I don't want these games..
..come to think of it I don't want many games these last couple years, fuckin' game burnout. I don't have anything else to do or an idea how to fix it T.T

I just checked the page out and it appears that you get Valdis Story for paying $10 or more. That is an amazing deal, especially considering everything else you get. Valdis Story is a beautiful looking (and pretty good playing) Metroidvania that has a deeper combat system than most. Oh, and the music is absolutely breathtaking. VS is easily worth $10 alone.

2xDouble:
I have a dilemma. I want to support this package and charity, but don't want any of those games nor do I want to make a truly charitable donation (i.e. without free stuff attached to it). Is there a way to donate the money to this charity and get different games from Humble Bundle?

heh.

You can buy a bundle as a gift and give it to somebody else. Even if you redeem the bundle yourself, typically, most of the games in the bundle can be gifted.

In my evil playthrough of fallout 2 I was female. I maxed my intelligence, perception and charisma and did everything through conversation. If there was unavoidable combat I hid behind cover and let my numerous companions take the risks.

My favorite thing was seducing the farmers son, getting married, then selling him to slavers. And THEN going back to tell the father I did it and seeing him have a heart attack. Then looting his corpse....

rembrandtqeinstein:
In my evil playthrough of fallout 2 I was female. I maxed my intelligence, perception and charisma and did everything through conversation. If there was unavoidable combat I hid behind cover and let my numerous companions take the risks.

My favorite thing was seducing the farmers son, getting married, then selling him to slavers. And THEN going back to tell the father I did it and seeing him have a heart attack. Then looting his corpse....

This is exactly what modern Feminism is about, right down to the cover based combat.

OT

I've heard of Long Live the Queen (and whenever I hear a variant of "Long live the X" I always hear it in Sean Pertwee's malevolent Helghast booming from Killzone 2) before: isn't it about creating a princess and trying to keep her alive long enough to become queen in a ridiculously hostile world?

Also: wasn't the Shadow Broker a Yawhg?

Dragonlayer:

rembrandtqeinstein:
In my evil playthrough of fallout 2 I was female. I maxed my intelligence, perception and charisma and did everything through conversation. If there was unavoidable combat I hid behind cover and let my numerous companions take the risks.

My favorite thing was seducing the farmers son, getting married, then selling him to slavers. And THEN going back to tell the father I did it and seeing him have a heart attack. Then looting his corpse....

This is exactly what modern Feminism is about, right down to the cover based combat.

OT

I've heard of Long Live the Queen (and whenever I hear a variant of "Long live the X" I always hear it in Sean Pertwee's malevolent Helghast booming from Killzone 2) before: isn't it about creating a princess and trying to keep her alive long enough to become queen in a ridiculously hostile world?

Also: wasn't the Shadow Broker a Yawhg?

In a matter of speaking. It's like a hardcore RPG with no dice rolls or combat aspects, the game mechanics is based around a rather complex stat/mood/activity system, with hundreds of stat checks along the way for various things, some of them more or less meaningless while some are matters of life and death. If you die one way, you can try again and train a skill you neglected last time, only to be killed by something else. There's quite a few different ways to "win" with many different endings, but getting them all can be maddening due to how different choices affect the game later on.

Only a masochist would dare to even try and write an all-encompassing guide for it, even wikis seem confused on some points.

I've never heard of most of these games, and most of them are in genres that don't interest me much, but I'm glad to hear that Save the Queen and The Cat Lady seem to be quality games, even if not the sort I'm likely to play. I can also say that Valdis Story, for anyone who likes Metroidvania games, is pretty good, and probably worth ten bucks on its own. The creators are even (supposedly, and quite slowly) adding more content to the game, including more playable characters, so it's only likely to increase in value over time. But even if they never added another thing, it would still be worth a sawbuck. (Though I wouldn't call it a prime example of leading ladies in gaming, since the guy is clearly the more "main" of the two current playable characters.)

Now, what about the other games? Lilly Looking Through, Ms. Splosion Man, Defender's Quest, and The Yawhg. Anyone played any of them? Are they good or bad examples of their respective genres?

LifeCharacter:

Ukomba:
Impossible. We keep hearing there are no female protagonists, to the point where Jim had to grab a dinosaur from Primal Rage as the only example of a good female protagonist. There for this bundle, and the hundreds of games on steam, don't exist.

It's almost like that episode had more conditions to it than simply being female.

OT: While I liked Long Live the Queen, I did wish it was a bit longer. If you get rid of all the times you die because you didn't master poison or acrobatics, it's really short. Still fun taking a fourteen(?) year old princess and absolutely crushing the foreign invaders so much that they're country falls apart.

It's almost like his conditions were contrived to make video games appear more sexist than they really were, and ended up be more insulting to better female protagonists than supportive of female characters in gaming. And, even within his ridiculous constrictions, there were better choices.

GeneralFungi:

Ukomba:
Jim had to grab a dinosaur from Primal Rage as the only example of a good female protagonist.

Either you didn't understand the purpose of the video or you are willfully misrepresenting it. Vertigo isn't the only good female protagonist. The purpose of the video was pointing out that Vertigo was one of the few female protagonists who didn't fall under a certain category like all of the rest. Like comparing Nathan Drake (an attractive Male lead) to Wario (a unique and strange character). It's just that Females have a lot more Nathan Drakes and a lot less Warios.

I'm simplifying this a lot so I encourage people to check out the video themselves.
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/jimquisition/8177-Vertigo

Anyway with that being said...

I'm not sure what to think about this campaign. It's nice to open up the doors and make more people feel included. I'm sure that at least part of the reason why there are less women in gaming and game development is because of it becoming something of a male space. But I'm just not sure how many girls who didn't have a previous interest in game design would suddenly hop on the ball and be convinced otherwise. I would think that most women who wanted to become game designers did it despite some of the adversity. I'm interested in what kind of impact this could have on the industry in even 10 years time.

I am aware of the limitations he placed on the protagonist. Still, he said the Best, and MOST notable female character that fits his criteria. He couldn't even think of any modern ones.
So does he find Angelus from Drakengard to be attractive?
Is Gaige from Border Lands 2 not scarred enough?
Are Goombella, Flurrie, Vivian, or Ms. Mowz from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door not oddly shaped enough?
How about Bombette, Lady Bow, Watt, and Sushie from Paper Mario?
Is Jack from Mass Effect 2 too boring?
Is Kreia from Knights of the Old Republic 2 not anti-hero enough?
Okami from Okami?
Macha, NeoFio, Poshul, Sprigg from Chrono Cross?
Shale from Dragon Age?

Sorry, but I call bs.

CaitSeith:

Ukomba:
Impossible. We keep hearing there are no female protagonists, to the point where Jim had to grab a dinosaur from Primal Rage as the only example of a good female protagonist.

You got it wrong. He said a good female anti-hero protagonist.

You got it wrong. He does mention anti-hero, but that isn't a requirement, just uniqueness.

Zachary Amaranth:

Ukomba:
Impossible. We keep hearing there are no female protagonists, to the point where Jim had to grab a dinosaur from Primal Rage as the only example of a good female protagonist.

I think you may have streamlined what Jim said.

Let's look for a playable woman protagonist in a videogame that doesn't rely on the same pool of restrictive stereotypes as every other playable woman protagonist.

To do this, let's look at a fighting game from 1994. That one about the dinosaurs. Yes, that one. Because I damn well sure can't find many better example. Folks, be prepared ... to RAGE.

BigTuk:

When they complain about the lack of female protagonists, they mean the lack of high-profile female protagonists...

Or, you know, he meant what he actually said.

erttheking:

You could always just wait a week or two for them to put up another Humble deal.

It won't be the same charities, though.

I covered that a few posts up. Even based on his unusually restrictive criteria, Ms Splosion Man, a game in this bundle, meets all his requirements (and it came out before his video). Since he says no modern game exists that meets his criteria, Ms Splosion Man must not exist and so this bundle is impossible.

Ukomba:
It's almost like his conditions were contrived to make video games appear more sexist than they really were, and ended up be more insulting to better female protagonists than supportive of female characters in gaming. And, even within his ridiculous constrictions, there were better choices.

So you completely misrepresent what Jim said and when you're called out on it you just decide that what Jim said was contrived. Because, apparently, asking for a playable female character that's not attractive is contrived. If there were better choices, talk about that... in the thread... one year in the past, don't just make shit up.

Also, in your responses to others, make sure you don't continue to misrepresent Jim's argument by ignoring the fact that the characters need to actually be playable. Also also, make sure you don't miss the forest for the tress in your nitpickery.

LifeCharacter:

Ukomba:
It's almost like his conditions were contrived to make video games appear more sexist than they really were, and ended up be more insulting to better female protagonists than supportive of female characters in gaming. And, even within his ridiculous constrictions, there were better choices.

So you completely misrepresent what Jim said and when you're called out on it you just decide that what Jim said was contrived. Because, apparently, asking for a playable female character that's not attractive is contrived. If there were better choices, talk about that... in the thread... one year in the past, don't just make shit up.

Also, in your responses to others, make sure you don't continue to misrepresent Jim's argument by ignoring the fact that the characters need to actually be playable. Also also, make sure you don't miss the forest for the tress in your nitpickery.

Excuse me oh master of the nitpick for not quoting word for word what jim said in a quick post on a different subject. I am well aware of his contrived criteria that would knock out the vast majority of male characters if applied to them. Next time I'll provide a full transcript of what he said and several interpretations from renounced sxholars, like yourself, I'm sure.

So I don't get the missenturpretation police on me again I will provide the requirements:
1. Not player created
2. Not conventionaly attractive
3. Unique motivation (not for a man)
Bonus - same power fantasy as a male character.

Ms Sploshion man, in this very bundle meets all those (the whole reason for my comment in the first place)
Kreia from kotor 2 meets all those.
So do all the Mario RPH characters.
Ext, ext. Want to tell me how they don't fit? It's easy to just say I missenturpretated and 'make shit up', harder to point out where I'm wrong.

Ukomba:
Excuse me oh master of the nitpick for not quoting word for word what jim said in a quick post on a different subject. I am well aware of his contrived criteria that would knock out the vast majority of male characters if applied to them. Next time I'll provide a full transcript of what he said and several interpretations from renounced sxholars, like yourself, I'm sure.

Don't get cute just because someone had the gall to point out that you misrepresented another person's argument for the sake of whining about it. You seem perfectly capable of whining about the actual argument made, so I really don't see what the point was in making shit up in the first place.

So I don't get the missenturpretation police on me again I will provide the requirements:
1. Not player created
2. Not conventionaly attractive
3. Unique motivation (not for a man)
Bonus - same power fantasy as a male character.

Don't forget they have to be playable.

Ms Sploshion man, in this very bundle meets all those (the whole reason for my comment in the first place)
Kreia from kotor 2 meets all those.
So do all the Mario RPH characters.
Ext, ext. Want to tell me how they don't fit? It's easy to just say I missenturpretated and 'make shit up', harder to point out where I'm wrong.

Well, forgive me for my ignorance, but is Kreia a playable character in Kotor? As for the other two and whoever else, all I have for you is a big, hardy "So?" Do you honestly think the point of that episode was that literally no other female character fit his criteria other than Vertigo?

LifeCharacter:

[irrelevant and cut for sanity sake]

So I don't get the missenturpretation police on me again I will provide the requirements:
1. Not player created
2. Not conventionaly attractive
3. Unique motivation (not for a man)
Bonus - same power fantasy as a male character.

Don't forget they have to be playable.

Ms Sploshion man, in this very bundle meets all those (the whole reason for my comment in the first place)
Kreia from kotor 2 meets all those.
So do all the Mario RPH characters.
Ext, ext. Want to tell me how they don't fit? It's easy to just say I missenturpretated and 'make shit up', harder to point out where I'm wrong.

Well, forgive me for my ignorance, but is Kreia a playable character in Kotor? As for the other two and whoever else, all I have for you is a big, hardy "So?" Do you honestly think the point of that episode was that literally no other female character fit his criteria other than Vertigo?

Kreia is a party member and is as playable as any other character, yes. She's arguably the most important character in the game. Frankly she blows vertigo out of the water in every aspect, and vertigo was my favorite character in primal rage (the snes port sucked).

Actually, [email protected]#$ING YES!!! He literally says so. He ENPHASUSES it. Because I'm dealing with the anal requirement to avoid any hint of possible missenturpretation, I'll quote. He "Wracked his brain for a comparable protagonist from the modern 'progressive' era of games and, by jove I can't find a woman granted this license" He goes on to emphasize he isn't joking.

I do like how you disregard those female characters that meet his requirements though. As should everyone because they aren't any where near as rare as was being made out in that video. I could make a list of more than a dozen off the top of my head out of only games I played. So not finding them is a personal issue, not a game industry issue. That's was my response to pointing out male versions like Wario too, So what?

Ukomba:
Kreia is a party member and is as playable as any other character, yes. She's arguably the most important character in the game. Frankly she blows vertigo out of the water in every aspect, and vertigo was my favorite character in primal rage (the snes port sucked).

I wouldn't really consider a party member in a Bioware game a playable character...

Actually, [email protected]#$ING YES!!! He literally says so. He ENPHASUSES it. Because I'm dealing with the anal requirement to avoid any hint of possible missenturpretation, I'll quote. He "Wracked his brain for a comparable protagonist from the modern 'progressive' era of games and, by jove I can't find a woman granted this license" He goes on to emphasize he isn't joking.

So because he says he couldn't think of any other characters that fit his criteria and said as much, the point of his video was that literally no other playable female characters that fit exist anywhere?

I do like how you disregard those female characters that meet his requirements though. As should everyone because they aren't any where near as rare as was being made out in that video. I could make a list of more than a dozen off the top of my head out of only games I played. So not finding them is a personal issue, not a game industry issue. That's was my response to pointing out male versions like Wario too, So what?

Oh, a whole dozen! What ever will we do! In all honesty, that doesn't impress me. How many of those characters are what amounts to monsters? How many human(oid) characters are on that list of ugly playable women that you can make?

LifeCharacter:

Ukomba:
Kreia is a party member and is as playable as any other character, yes. She's arguably the most important character in the game. Frankly she blows vertigo out of the water in every aspect, and vertigo was my favorite character in primal rage (the snes port sucked).

I wouldn't really consider a party member in a Bioware game a playable character...

Bioware did not make kotor 2. I feel saying to sightly debate what say about kriea but arguing on the internet in not my highest priority at this time.

Ukomba:

I covered that a few posts up. Even based on his unusually restrictive criteria, Ms Splosion Man, a game in this bundle, meets all his requirements (and it came out before his video). Since he says no modern game exists that meets his criteria, Ms Splosion Man must not exist and so this bundle is impossible.

I'm not particularly sure why you feel she doesn't draw from the same pool of stereotypes.

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