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Is it bad luck to kill dragons in China?

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by TheGaul, Feb 1, 2020.

  1. TheGaul

    TheGaul

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    OK, So my game involves a great deal of killing space dragons.

    But also, most of my previous games have done very well in China.

    I just realised that actually in China, dragons are considered good luck....

    So will this make my game unpopular in China? Anyone from China know?

    Serious question.
     
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  2. Antypodish

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    I would look into every game, which has dragons-killing in it and see, how the popularity in selected countries is.
     
  3. TheGaul

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    If dragon's represent China or Wales for that matter. If the game involved shooting dragons maybe people think the game was anti-Chinese or anti-Welsh.
     
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  4. welby

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    Usually dragons there mean 'good' 'smart' 'energy'.and are used in celebration. Typically the average chinese would Not lean towards killing one, from a superstitious point of view. They are mysterious. It's almost like asking someone to kick over a gravestone. So your concern is not unwarranted.

    There Are such things a "bad" dragons in China. Usually darker ones. But much more rare.

    If you are talking "space" dragons, It may not be an issue. Unless you specifically design them to be unmistakably "Chinese" in look.
     
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  5. TheGaul

    TheGaul

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    Wel... they don't look like western dragons as they don't have any wings..or legs. I'd say they look more like space serpents.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2020
  6. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    There is like 2 billion people in china.
     
  7. TheGaul

    TheGaul

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    Exactly it's a big market. I don't want my game to be cancelled in China!

    I might rename the space-dragons to space-serpents just in case.

    Maybe I should put some good dragons in it to balance it out. A Yin to the Yang so-to-speak.
     
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  8. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    you missed the point. think about it again.
     
  9. TheGaul

    TheGaul

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    You know what I was thinking was that while the Chinese are in quarantine, this month, I wouldn't like to annoy them some more by having a game where their sacred good luck symbol was exploded in front of their eyes. And just after Chinese New Year no less.

    Also, I wonder if I can use the Yin-Yang symbol in my game. Or would that be frowned upon? Is it cultural appropriation? These are important topics to think about.

    TBH I'm more concerned about being sued by Dune or Tremors for the giant sand burrowing worms.
     
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  10. Antypodish

    Antypodish

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    Seriously, have you nothing better to worry about?
    Ying-Yang symbol is philosophy, not a religion. Also, it is not strict Chinese per say.

    You are better to focus on device compatibility and fun factor, to reach wider audience.
    Otherwise, no dragon, nor mouse slayer will help your game.

    Btw., lets go back to last century

    First Samurai
     
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  11. TheGaul

    TheGaul

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    Trust me, I have nothing better to worry about.
     
  12. Teila

    Teila

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    I find it refreshing that you are actually thinking about how something you put in a game might be insulting or even taboo in another culture. It is good to think about things like this from a marketing perspective.

    So kudos to you. :)
     
  13. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    But Chinese people are not stupid, they're not going to equate a cultural dragon or Christianity with the Space Bat Angel Dragon from Iron Man, are they?

    So while it is nice you're thinking about cultural impacts, you would be FAR better served simply by making the game as you want but renaming dragons to space bats for the Chinese market.
     
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  14. TheGaul

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    I'm sure some Chinese people are stupid, just like in any country. Sad to see you making such generalisations. :(
     
  15. Antypodish

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    From reading thread, sounds like your target audience ...
    Better change to killing people. None will be upset, as this is so "normal" ...
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2020
  16. Teila

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    I do not get this. Target audience? Are you insulting his game? If so, be nice please. If not, then possibly reword.
     
  17. Antypodish

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    With all respect, but is not me who started insulting other people. It shouldn't be brought in, in first place.
     
  18. Deleted User

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    That's like, a lot of people to have angry at you. I normally have at least two per week, but 2 BILLION? Haha
     
  19. Ryiah

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    I believe his interpretation of the OP's last post is that it was intended in a negative way.
     
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  20. BIGTIMEMASTER

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    The point was, there is 2 billion people. They aren't all the same person.

    It's the same as asking if all americans will be upset if we kill cats in the game. It's essentially a useless question because it has no real target.

    Furthermore, the very framing of the question is intrinsically ignorant leaning towards racism. "All Chinese people think this..."

    actually, I just reread the title of thread. "Is it bad luck...?" Big assumptions there. Are all Chinese people backwards simpletons believing in ancient traditions? the wording here seems to suggest.

    If this were a serious question it would be asked to the relevant local audience in a tactful way.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2020
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  21. Ryiah

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    I don't know you might have to count some people twice to get 2 billion out of 1.5 billion. :p

    This. You aren't targeting the total combined population of China. You're targeting a very minor subset that may not even care how their dragons are portrayed.
     
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  22. Teila

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    I see, I read it differently but then went back and read Hippos and read that differently than I did the first time. LOL

    Yeah....not a good thing for OP to say.
     
  23. Deleted User

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    I think you're wrong about this. We live in a world where people get outraged over things like this. The OP has a semi-legitimate concern...
     
  24. BIGTIMEMASTER

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    You think I'm wrong in pointing out the error in attributing a singular belief about bad luck and dragons to 1.5 billion people?

    Nobody is talking about if it is good to be concerned about cultural sensitivity. We are talking about how the very question, "Do all Chinese people think _____?" is rooted in ignorance, and basically useless.

    If I came here and asked, "Do all programmers think they are way smarter than they actually are?" its the same. Or , "Would males get upset if I have a game about blowing up Shakira?" "Will americans hate me if i make a game that glorifies satan?"
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2020
  25. joshcamas

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    OP never said anything like "Do all Chinese people think ___". He asked if it would be less popular.

    If someone from a country outside of the US made a game about shooting horses, it would probably sell better in other countries when compared to the US, since in our history killing horses has always been pretty taboo. That's not suggesting that all Americans love horses, but instead pointing out that a higher percentage of the population is not into the concept of shooting horses as opposed to other countries.

    In the same way, I would not be surprised if a higher percentage of the chinese population is less into the concept of killing dragons as opposed to other countries, from what I've heard.
     
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  26. BIGTIMEMASTER

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    yes good points. i wonder if the original was edited because i remember it sounding different. if not, i was just feeling grumpy.
     
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  27. joshcamas

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    Fair enough, we all get that way sometimes :)
     
  28. Billy4184

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    Seriously? Make the game you want to make and you will attract the kind of audience that it suits. If people are mature they will not get offended, unless you pointedly single out their culture. The people who are looking for trouble will find it regardless.

    Nobody has a monopoly on dragons. In many myths they are the symbol of chaos and destruction, laying waste to villages and killing innocent people, and represent the ultimate foe. Just because someone somewhere loves dragons doesn't prevent you from pitting them as the enemy. They don't get to decide the way that you want to paint the world of your imagination.

    If you try to please everybody at once, you'll just end up with the soulless offerings we get in this day and age. Stop trying to avoid conflict and make the game the way you want to.
     
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  29. TheGaul

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    In the West, yes dragons are a symbol of chaos and destruction. And we have many myths about defeating the dragons such as St George, patron saint of England.

    But traditionally Chinese New Year is celebrated with a dragon dance. The dragon being a symbol of power and strength.

    Hence West: dragons=bad => kill dragons. East: dragons=good => save dragons.

    I mean, same reason a Peppa Pig game might not sell so well in Saudi Arabia. You could say, "Well just make your pork themed game. Don't generalise about people from other countries. There's 33 million people living there.". But if your primary market is the middle east, maybe a little generalisation is sometimes useful!
     
  30. frosted

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    Its worth noting that western dragons and chinese dragons look really different. Western dragons are like lizard bats, chinese dragons are like serpents.

    If you are using a western dragon body i wouldn't even worry about it. In china, do they use the same word for both or is that western convention?
     
  31. welby

    welby

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    OMG, enough with the Dragons.

    Make two PreFabs you can toggle out. One a Dragon, the other a Pink Fluffy Serpent




    :)
    j/k
     
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  32. frosted

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    I donno, I just think the subject of different cultures and myths as kinda interesting.

    Apparently there was some debate in china about breaking out chinese dragons from western dragons by using the word 'loong' to represent chinese dragons.

    The problem was that chinese people worried that because westerners saw dragons as evil, they would view china as evil by association.

    Here's a paper proposing that: http://www.loong.ca/doc/loong.pdf

    Here's another good review on the differences: https://www.topchinatravel.com/china-guide/chinese-dragon-and-western-dragon.htm

    Basically, in china dragons are generally good guys, and in the west they're bad guys. So yeah, there'd probably be some cultural dissonance to killing dragons if they look like chinese dragons. But if they look more western, chinese audiences are probably already used to seeing those as different.
     
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  33. Teila

    Teila

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    Me too!

    But we make games or watch movies all the time with bad humans and good humans. We want the bad humans to be killed or punished. We ally with the good humans, or they become our companions or mentors.

    So why not do that with the Dragons? Instead of all dragons are good or bad, create a more complex game with bad dragons and good dragons. Bad dragons are dangerous and evil and hurt people. Good dragons try to convince the world that they are good, they help the humans and mentor them and teach them about ancient cultures, spells, etc.

    All depends on your game of course. But why not pull out of the black and white and do something a little more interesting and complex.
     
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  34. neoshaman

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    IMHO the government seems like a bigger problem anyway, given how heavily AAA censor their game into the market, like removing skeleton from games!



    Cultural sensitivity is something you will have to deal with any market though (german don't like the swatiska), the general sense of cool or bad vary too, or something can be interpreted very differently even though it's not in a bad way.

    I say market, not country, some good people here can't play a good game with great gameplay if it doesn't have the right atmosphere.

    So it's the good old make something and they MIGHT come, even through misunderstanding, or you try to cater and you MIGHT get it right. Either way there is no guarantee. But whether you do something for you or for over, it's best if it's genuine and don't compromise (at least not the important thing, sometimes we have necessary fluff that can be changed without compromising the spirit).

    Be worthy of their grace. :p
     
  35. Billy4184

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    @Teila has the right idea. Casting anything as always good and untouchable is a good way to create a boring, stale narrative.

    In skyrim iirc there were dragons you could communicate with and who could be allies, even if most of the time they were enemies.

    Anyway, I think that it's silly to expect that most people operate at the level of cultural myths. It's not the case in the west, nor the middle east nor China. Most people just want to have a good life and play a game that's fun.

    And even if it was an issue, your potential player base is at least as big as skyrims so maybe just focus on reaching that one first before worrying about converting 2 billion diehard dragon lovers?
     
  36. Teila

    Teila

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    Always bad is boring too. A villian that has a small bit of redeeming light makes for a much more interesting character.
     
  37. SparrowGS

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    What did people in china say about Skyrim for example? (quick googling reveals nothing useful)
    You slay dragons there, but they're obviously western dragons (evil just depends on you POV, heh)
     
  38. Billy4184

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    Absolutely! Same principle.
     
  39. SparrowGS

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    I just red that now, I mentioned skyrim in my last reply, and there you start off clueless and to you dragons are just feral beasts that means death and destruction, after you slay one and eat its soul you start finding out about how they're actually just as intelligent as you (if not more), you get to speak to some of them and find out about the good side, the bad side, all the inner wars, etc.

    I think that's what you meant there, no?
    ofc you can just draw you sword and start hacking away, but thats up to the player.

    edit:
    Neither does Israelis, and most of the western cultures AFAIK
     
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  40. frosted

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    Sure, that makes sense. But having some idea of what kinds of thing people associate with what archetypes is also really useful.

    If people associate something with generally being positive and good, but you are presenting it as negative and evil - there's gonna be some dissonance in your audience. That can be fine, maybe even awesome - but it helps to be aware that you're doing it.

    It's like elves are generally supposed to love nature, be magical and wise. If you have a bunch of elves living in stone caverns, drinking stout ale all day, and working forges to build iron machines... it's gonna just feel weird and off.
     
  41. SparrowGS

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    elves in particular also have so many sub factions/races in a lot of different lores.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elves_in_fiction#Elves_in_games
     
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  42. joshcamas

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    The Dwemer take offense to your stereotypes
     
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  43. Teila

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    Hmm, plenty of good dragons in literature and even in games, so I do not think it would be off. ;) Of course, it depends on the skill of the storyteller.

    As for elves, I have played many a pen and paper game where some players are a good Drow or a bad high elf. While some of us roll our eyes, it does not seem to bother the story.

    Character types are not set in stone and mixing it up is not forbidden. Games are the perfect place to do this as well because too many games are the same, Dragons are bad, Elves are serious, Dwarves make armor. So many, same fantasy game, same races, all alike.

    Do it differently..the good dragons joining with humans to rid the world of the evil dragons....could be fun. And players love dragons and many love evil.

    You want your game to be noticed? Think outside the box.
     
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  44. frosted

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    Agreed. But I'm of the school that if you want to break the rules, it's really important to at least know what the rules are first.

    If you're going to bend an archetype, it will always be a plus to have a good understanding of the archetypes you're rooted in and the expectations people will initially have.

    There's a difference between being creative and coming up with a fresh new twist, and simply being ignorant of what's established.
     
  45. Teila

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    I see that as a given. :) The OP seems to have done some research already which is more than most do. :) I am making a game that has several cultures, based loosely on real cultures or ancient cultures. I did a great deal of research and made an attempt to not stereotype different cultures. Since I wanted the cultures to be original and yet somewhat familiar to people who play the game, I had to be very careful not to make the original culture too familiar, as then that culture is stereotyped. For example, I worked on a game as a writer and my job was to make a matriarchal society that lived in the woods.

    Of course, most people saw...Elves, and Amazons (as in the mythological women). Neither of those was original and both had strong archetypes. So rather than allow those stereotypes to overwhelm the originality of the culture, I had to work very hard to give them their own identity. I did a pretty good job if I might say so myself. :)

    As for the rules.....of course, there are rules, but rules are made to be bent and twisted, especially in fiction. It all depends on our player's comfort level. Some are not comfortable if a game does include the requisite fantasy races. Others shun a game that is too much like all the others.

    Possibly, we just look at this from a different angle. :) Neither is wrong or right.
     
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  46. neoshaman

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    In the context, they explicitly ban (until recently) all depiction of that symbol, while other country don't like it, you can still have them in your games, my point was government is a bigger issues than the people, generally.
     
  47. Teila

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    That is one way to do it. :) Nice description of how Skyrim portrays dragons. I like that. :)
     
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  48. kdgalla

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    This opens another can of wyrms worms, but maybe you can let the player choose whether the dragons are enemies or not. Maybe you have the choice to join the hunt-and-kill-dragons team or the peace-between-humans-and-dragons team. Whichever team you choose, the other becomes your enemy.
     
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  49. TheGaul

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    Well, I let you in on a secret. My dragons, or serpents are actually spirits that have escaped from atoms where they live. So in actual fact they are only "bad" in the sense that they are in the wrong place. OK, totally weird concept but there you go.
     
  50. Deleted User

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    Is it me or are topics on these boards pretty... boring lately? At least things I would never think that interesting get more replies than seems warranted.