There’s been a lot of stories circulating around Telltale Games, which recently began proceedings for liquidation after dismissing a majority of its workforce earlier this year. But this one gives an idea of what kind of corners were cut when it came to game development -- most notably revolving around female characters.
A former employee by the name of Emily Grace Buck shared a story on Twitter earlier today, when a fellow user noted that games need to stop being afraid of women with a number of features, such as “messy hair,” “gapless thighs” and “fat arms.”
Buck responded, “At Telltale, we almost never showed womens’ bare feet/lower legs because almost all our adult female character rigs were built to only wear heels, like a Barbie.”
She then added that she ran into some difficulty with trying to give female characters feet.
Angries on the Internet: Telltale was run by the SJWs!!! That’s why they went out of business trolololol
Me, at Telltale, tryna ask if women could maybe kinda sorta be allowed to have feet: pic.twitter.com/ausCNQoxKX— Emily Grace Buck (@emilybuckshot) November 25, 2018
But then she noted that this shouldn’t be a surprise, since it’s “fairly industry standard practice,” to which many people noted what they heard.
For instance, another former Telltale employee, Nathan Allen Ortega, said the following on Twitter:
I also remember hearing revisions to female characters to make them younger/whiter/more attractive as ‘fuckability passes’. I’m still mad about how they whitewashed/aged down Kate in NF. :(— Nathan Allen Ortega 💖💜💙 (@kenjisalk) November 25, 2018
(By the way, NF is New Frontier, the latest Walking Dead before the Final Season.)
Emily responded back, with a rather interesting note about The Walking Dead: Michonne:
Hey remember when we asked to make Sam in Michonne look older and her face stayed the same but she was given a DD cup and a deep v neck
It was fixed before ship but that was an educational day for me— Emily Grace Buck (@emilybuckshot) November 25, 2018
The thread as a whole is worth reading with all the responses, with former Sony Online Entertainment employee Stephen Kick agreeing that something similar was happening over there:
It was like this at SOE as well, the high heel rig— Stephen Kick (@pripyatbeast) November 26, 2018
You can read the whole thread here and the numerous responses from industry folk and fans alike, all of whom agree that, honestly, it seems pretty silly to cut off feet from female game characters. We can sum it up with this response from Guccibussi:
Omg I can't imagine how frustrating this would be... now I'm trying to imagine modding a Bethesda game where all the female skeletons are made for heels 😷😷— 𝔖𝔲𝔠𝔠𝔲𝔟𝔲𝔰𝔰𝔦 (@Aries_AF_Brian) November 25, 2018