(C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by elemtilas » 06 May 2019 18:53

shimobaatar wrote:
06 May 2019 18:07
fruityloops wrote:
06 May 2019 17:26
someone told me these mantis people were too inhuman thus unrelatable.....
I know it can be hard not to get hung up on comments like that, but I don't think you have anything to worry about if just one person, or even just a few people, once said that they didn't find your mantis people relatable. Sure, this won't be true for everyone, but in my personal experience, I've encountered quite a few people who seem to have no problem relating to fictional races that don't look very human. It would be pretty hard for anyone to come up with something that has universal appeal, so my advice would be to not worry about it, although I know that's much easier said than done.
I agree 100% with shimo.

I have to say, fruityloops, that your Mantisfolk look a lot more relatable than many other alien peoples I've come across! Good case in point are Lorinda Taylor's Termite Folk. They are, quite essentially, big alien termites:

Image

They have no physical human characteristics whatsoever. Yours have a bipedal stance, an insecto-humanoid body plan, they wear clothing, the clothing is tailored and patterned; their limbs and digits appear quite "human" and their overall shape is quite "relatable". Lorinda's Termites are, well, big bugs. They don't become relatable at all until you get to know their culture, and even then, they're big bugs! They do things that we don't really connect with, but as people, the Termites are still entirely relatable.

I shouldn't worry about what one "someone" told you. After all, aren't there now (at least!) two of us countering that perspective?
Edit: By the way, Lorinda's Termite Queen books are well worth the read!!

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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Dormouse559 » 07 May 2019 00:29

elemtilas wrote:
06 May 2019 18:53
[…] Yours have a bipedal stance, an insecto-humanoid body plan, they wear clothing, the clothing is tailored and patterned […]
Not only that, but they wear the clothing in the same places a human would, and it appears to be of a style that actually exists. Just looking at your picture, fruityloops, the mantis people seem plenty relatable to me. (They also remind me of a cute mini-comic that many people seemed to relate to.)

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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by elemtilas » 07 May 2019 00:44

Dormouse559 wrote:
07 May 2019 00:29
elemtilas wrote:
06 May 2019 18:53
[…] Yours have a bipedal stance, an insecto-humanoid body plan, they wear clothing, the clothing is tailored and patterned […]
Not only that, but they wear the clothing in the same places a human would,
And yes, you said it perfectly! The clothing did actually bother me when I wrote earlier, but couldn't quite articulate. After thinking about it, this is my impression:

the clothing make your Mantisfolk look totally relatable for two reasons: first, the lower garment (the split sarong / kilt / loincloth thing) covers their crotch, exactly like how a human wearing a loincloth would look; second, the upper garment styles cover their prothorax, that part of the body that roughly corresponds to the upper chest, and very conveniently, that is exactly the region of human female tits which are typically covered exactly as you portray.

Your pictures also, I notice, give the (false, I think) impression that Mantisfolk have a human-like anatomical appearance --- they seem to have human-like pectoral & abdominal musculature, or at least they have visual features that cue that response in a human observer.

I'd point out that actual mantises (Earth insects) have no visible musculature, and thus no pex-n-sixpacks. I'd also point out that actual Earth mantises' sexual organs out at the end of their abdominal segments, not between their legs, the one major part of their bodies you leave completely uncovered with delicious irony.

So yeah, wearing clothing in a (Western) human-expected fashion makes me wonder even more about these "someones" who say your folk utterly unrelatable!

and it appears to be of a style that actually exists.
Icing on the cake!
Just looking at your picture, Fruityloops, the mantis people seem plenty relatable to me. (They also remind of remind me of a cute mini-comic that many people seemed to relate to.)
Well, at least the "guy" Mantis likes won't savagely butcher him and eat his dying carcass on their first date!

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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Dormouse559 » 07 May 2019 08:06

elemtilas wrote:
07 May 2019 00:44
Well, at least the "guy" Mantis likes won't savagely butcher him and eat his dying carcass on their first date!
Swipe-right material right there!

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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by elemtilas » 07 May 2019 15:32

Dormouse559 wrote:
07 May 2019 08:06
elemtilas wrote:
07 May 2019 00:44
Well, at least the "guy" Mantis likes won't savagely butcher him and eat his dying carcass on their first date!
Swipe-right material right there!
[xD]

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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by fruityloops » 07 May 2019 18:42

elemtilas wrote:
07 May 2019 00:44
Dormouse559 wrote:
07 May 2019 00:29
elemtilas wrote:
06 May 2019 18:53
[…] Yours have a bipedal stance, an insecto-humanoid body plan, they wear clothing, the clothing is tailored and patterned […]
Not only that, but they wear the clothing in the same places a human would,
And yes, you said it perfectly! The clothing did actually bother me when I wrote earlier, but couldn't quite articulate. After thinking about it, this is my impression:

the clothing make your Mantisfolk look totally relatable for two reasons: first, the lower garment (the split sarong / kilt / loincloth thing) covers their crotch, exactly like how a human wearing a loincloth would look; second, the upper garment styles cover their prothorax, that part of the body that roughly corresponds to the upper chest, and very conveniently, that is exactly the region of human female tits which are typically covered exactly as you portray.

Your pictures also, I notice, give the (false, I think) impression that Mantisfolk have a human-like anatomical appearance --- they seem to have human-like pectoral & abdominal musculature, or at least they have visual features that cue that response in a human observer.

I'd point out that actual mantises (Earth insects) have no visible musculature, and thus no pex-n-sixpacks. I'd also point out that actual Earth mantises' sexual organs out at the end of their abdominal segments, not between their legs, the one major part of their bodies you leave completely uncovered with delicious irony.

So yeah, wearing clothing in a (Western) human-expected fashion makes me wonder even more about these "someones" who say your folk utterly unrelatable!

and it appears to be of a style that actually exists.
Icing on the cake!
Just looking at your picture, Fruityloops, the mantis people seem plenty relatable to me. (They also remind of remind me of a cute mini-comic that many people seemed to relate to.)
Well, at least the "guy" Mantis likes won't savagely butcher him and eat his dying carcass on their first date!
(most of my bug people are flat chested to small breasted since nowadays i realized having prominent boobs on a insect seems super silly at best...then again this could be explained away through "ego" a new concept i introduced...)

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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by alynnidalar » 07 May 2019 19:37

fruityloops wrote:
07 May 2019 18:42
small breasted
Why would insects have any mammary glands at all...?

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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by eldin raigmore » 07 May 2019 23:41

alynnidalar wrote:
07 May 2019 19:37
fruityloops wrote:
07 May 2019 18:42
small breasted
Why would insects have any mammary glands at all...?
Maybe they have “breasts” the same way gamefowl and songbirds have “breasts”? Maybe their wing-muscles make their chests puff out some?

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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by alynnidalar » 08 May 2019 15:01

In that case I would expect all insects to have similar chests, with little connection to gender.

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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by LinguoFranco » 08 May 2019 20:01

I’m trying to create a clockpunk world, but I need to figure out some things.

Since clockpunk is usually based on Renaissance Italy (my world is as well), it would make sense to have a religion that resembles Christianity, Catholicism in particular. I want to do something a little different like have a polytheistic pantheon or use an Eastern influence for the world’s religion, but I’m wondering how much that would change this culture and society.

I know Europe has a history of pagan religions and I doubt they ever completely disappeared.

I want my world to stand out and not be a carbon copy fantasy counterpart culture, but still put thought into it.

I don’t plant to go super detailed, at least not yet. I just want something in the background to show the characters have some sort of belief in the supernatural.

Any thoughts?

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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by fruityloops » 08 May 2019 20:14

alynnidalar wrote:
08 May 2019 15:01
In that case I would expect all insects to have similar chests, with little connection to gender.
eldin raigmore wrote:
07 May 2019 23:41
alynnidalar wrote:
07 May 2019 19:37
fruityloops wrote:
07 May 2019 18:42
small breasted
Why would insects have any mammary glands at all...?
Maybe they have “breasts” the same way gamefowl and songbirds have “breasts”? Maybe their wing-muscles make their chests puff out some?

and now i regret mentioning boobs.....

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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by fruityloops » 08 May 2019 20:49

LinguoFranco wrote:
08 May 2019 20:01
I’m trying to create a clockpunk world, but I need to figure out some things.

Since clockpunk is usually based on Renaissance Italy (my world is as well), it would make sense to have a religion that resembles Christianity, Catholicism in particular. I want to do something a little different like have a polytheistic pantheon or use an Eastern influence for the world’s religion, but I’m wondering how much that would change this culture and society.

I know Europe has a history of pagan religions and I doubt they ever completely disappeared.

I want my world to stand out and not be a carbon copy fantasy counterpart culture, but still put thought into it.

I don’t plant to go super detailed, at least not yet. I just want something in the background to show the characters have some sort of belief in the supernatural.

Any thoughts?
seems interesting enough i guess under some terms...

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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by elemtilas » 08 May 2019 22:56

fruityloops wrote:
08 May 2019 20:14
alynnidalar wrote:
08 May 2019 15:01
Maybe they have “breasts” the same way gamefowl and songbirds have “breasts”? Maybe their wing-muscles make their chests puff out some?

and now i regret mentioning boobs.....
Please don't regret! In all honesty, I, and I'm pretty sure we, are simply trying to understand a) why you seem to labouring under the misconception that people will be turned away by your world and b) why certain things are the way they are (e.g., in this specific case, clothing).

Mentioning boobs is important here because we don't know everything about your people and, perhaps, from these questions you can learn how better to present them?

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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by fruityloops » 08 May 2019 23:05

even i do justify it...i end up having folks still complain about it so i cave in and omit it out of my designs and setting.

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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by elemtilas » 08 May 2019 23:14

LinguoFranco wrote:
08 May 2019 20:01
I’m trying to create a clockpunk world, but I need to figure out some things.

Since clockpunk is usually based on Renaissance Italy (my world is as well), it would make sense to have a religion that resembles Christianity, Catholicism in particular. I want to do something a little different like have a polytheistic pantheon or use an Eastern influence for the world’s religion, but I’m wondering how much that would change this culture and society.

I know Europe has a history of pagan religions and I doubt they ever completely disappeared.

I want my world to stand out and not be a carbon copy fantasy counterpart culture, but still put thought into it.

I don’t plan to go super detailed, at least not yet. I just want something in the background to show the characters have some sort of belief in the supernatural.

Any thoughts?
It would change the entire outward face and also the fundamental nature of your world. The very world view that gives rise to science, the renaissance and everything modern essentially comes of the Catholic Church. On the one hand it was a politically stabilising force; as a human organisation it was incredibly wealthy and patronised the arts & sciences; as a divine organisation it provided not only sound morals & theology but also a fundamentally different worldview than that of Pagan Europe from before. It's what gave us moderns our concepts of the worth of the individual, our basic understanding of rights and freedoms, our basic concepts of social order and hierarchy.

That said, you certainly cán put something else in its place. I am assuming that since one of your goals is clockpunk within a renaissance era Italian setting, you will want to keep all the social, moral, ethical, scientific, rational, philosophical, etc. foundations. All you really have to do is dive deep into the history of the Church and its Jewish roots in Western culture and replicate that with something that resembles Catholicism. How far you diverge from primary world history will inform how different your clockpunk world's culture and so forth can be.

Western Europe certainly has a history of Pagan religion. The Roman State Religion and, among the armies, Mithraism and among the wealthy and curiosity seekers and deep seekers alike, the various Oriental mystery cults. They pretty much disappeared early on, and well in advance of Italy's renaissance. Knowledge of Pagan myths and so forth was well known and found expression in art and literature, and in many places continued to be expressed in local folklore; but it lacked anything like a theological foundation and a living tradition as religion.

As for hów to do it, my only suggestion on the matter would be to go with your first instinct of not going super detailed! If religion and in this case the history and profound effects of Catholicism in European society and Occidental culture in general are your meat-n-potatoes, then I'd say go whole hog! Come up with something cool to replace it. I think that would make for a fascinating world! I gather you're kind of starting up this project? Maybe right away is not the best time to work on that part of your world's history. You have the basic concept, just work at it little by little!

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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by elemtilas » 08 May 2019 23:18

fruityloops wrote:
08 May 2019 23:05
even i do justify it...i end up having folks still complain about it so i cave in and omit it out of my designs and setting.
Well, I can't really help with that. It's really up to you, in your own heart and in your own mind whether to cave in & omit something just because some random person complains, or whether you just say "thanks for your opinion" and move on.

I'm sorry that I missed where you justified Mantisfolk having boobs and having to cover them with clothing. Could you repeat?

In any event, I hope you're nòt taking the present conversation as us "complaining"! I really don't think that's what's going on here!
Last edited by elemtilas on 09 May 2019 15:10, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Reyzadren » 09 May 2019 00:19

LinguoFranco wrote:
08 May 2019 20:01
I want my world to stand out and not be a carbon copy fantasy counterpart culture, but still put thought into it.
But why not just embrace the carbon copy fantasy counterpart culture? Imo, most clockpunk settings are already unique because clockpunk itself is quite an underused setting even within fantasy genres.

> Supernatural belief. Just add more folktales and/or urban legends that might and not be true, as well as some syncretism with religion.
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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by LinguistCat » 09 May 2019 05:45

fruityloops wrote:
08 May 2019 23:05
even i do justify it...i end up having folks still complain about it so i cave in and omit it out of my designs and setting.
I've been thinking about the nature of characters, settings, etc. and it's one thing if you start from a premise and someone points out that something else wouldn't work logically. But when it comes to matters of taste (details that you just like but don't NEED to be there, what premises you start from and the like), you can't force anyone else to like your work, and certainly not everyone is going to like it, or like all of it. But you can make sure it's something YOU like. As long as you like your idea, that's all that matters, and other people will like it or not. The people complaining aren't your audience and changing to fit them probably will just make you unhappy. You should be your main audience; anyone else is a bonus.

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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus » 09 May 2019 14:38

Artistic decisions have to be acts of the artist.
What critique can do, however, is show the artist what decisions they've made, and which decisions they've yet to make. Vivid works of art are generally the result of commiting to a coherent set of decisions - rather than vacillating between alternative visions without clarity.

I think the point underlying people's reactions to the bugworld is that there's a choice to be made here, between two different visions.

In one vision, bugfolk are their own thing, their bodies and minds and societies in some way a natural development of their nature - not necessary physically or entomologically 'realistic', but conceptually and logically coherent.

In the other vision, bugfolk are humans wearing funny hats - or, in this case, insect-suits. They look and act like humans, with just some arbitrary, superficial insectoid traits for scene decoration.


Both approaches have virtues. The coherent approach is much more interesting and distinctive; but the funny hats version is much more accessible. Children's cartoons, for instance, overwhelmingly go with the funny hats approach. Adult stories can follow this approach too, although it does impose certain restrictions on style: since it relies on the audience turning off their brain, it's best suited to the style of fairy tales (or, of course, porn), and least suited to genres like murder mystery. The coherent approach respects our intelligence more, but by making everything more alien makes it harder to deliver instinctively powerful stories, particularly in emotive genres like, say, romance.

The problem is, while no story will perfectly follow either approach, it's very difficult to take a real middle line either, because it leaves the audience confused, and unsure when they're meant to think and when not. If you get them to take one thing seriously, they get confused when you don't take another, closely-related thing seriously. Questions like "why would female insects have breasts?" and "why would insects wear the same clothes as humans despite having different sexual organs and different systems of temperature control?" don't arise so much if everyone's clear that this is just cartoon about humans who look like insects.

And, of course, it also depends who your audience is. If you're talking to, say, teenage anime enthusiasts, they might expect the cartoon approach and find the coherent approach confusing and offputting. On boards like this, on the other hand, where making coherent settings is our hobby, we're naturally going to instinctively see things through the lens of the goals of coherence and distinctiveness.

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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by LinguoFranco » 09 May 2019 15:37

elemtilas wrote:
08 May 2019 23:14
LinguoFranco wrote:
08 May 2019 20:01
I’m trying to create a clockpunk world, but I need to figure out some things.

Since clockpunk is usually based on Renaissance Italy (my world is as well), it would make sense to have a religion that resembles Christianity, Catholicism in particular. I want to do something a little different like have a polytheistic pantheon or use an Eastern influence for the world’s religion, but I’m wondering how much that would change this culture and society.

I know Europe has a history of pagan religions and I doubt they ever completely disappeared.

I want my world to stand out and not be a carbon copy fantasy counterpart culture, but still put thought into it.

I don’t plan to go super detailed, at least not yet. I just want something in the background to show the characters have some sort of belief in the supernatural.

Any thoughts?
It would change the entire outward face and also the fundamental nature of your world. The very world view that gives rise to science, the renaissance and everything modern essentially comes of the Catholic Church. On the one hand it was a politically stabilising force; as a human organisation it was incredibly wealthy and patronised the arts & sciences; as a divine organisation it provided not only sound morals & theology but also a fundamentally different worldview than that of Pagan Europe from before. It's what gave us moderns our concepts of the worth of the individual, our basic understanding of rights and freedoms, our basic concepts of social order and hierarchy.

That said, you certainly cán put something else in its place. I am assuming that since one of your goals is clockpunk within a renaissance era Italian setting, you will want to keep all the social, moral, ethical, scientific, rational, philosophical, etc. foundations. All you really have to do is dive deep into the history of the Church and its Jewish roots in Western culture and replicate that with something that resembles Catholicism. How far you diverge from primary world history will inform how different your clockpunk world's culture and so forth can be.

Western Europe certainly has a history of Pagan religion. The Roman State Religion and, among the armies, Mithraism and among the wealthy and curiosity seekers and deep seekers alike, the various Oriental mystery cults. They pretty much disappeared early on, and well in advance of Italy's renaissance. Knowledge of Pagan myths and so forth was well known and found expression in art and literature, and in many places continued to be expressed in local folklore; but it lacked anything like a theological foundation and a living tradition as religion.

As for hów to do it, my only suggestion on the matter would be to go with your first instinct of not going super detailed! If religion and in this case the history and profound effects of Catholicism in European society and Occidental culture in general are your meat-n-potatoes, then I'd say go whole hog! Come up with something cool to replace it. I think that would make for a fascinating world! I gather you're kind of starting up this project? Maybe right away is not the best time to work on that part of your world's history. You have the basic concept, just work at it little by little!
I think I will take your suggestion, though I am kicking around an idea for a religion kinda like Hinduism in that there is only one supreme and omnipotent god, but all the other “gods” are just different manifestations of that one god. That’ll probably be as close as it gets to Hinduism, though.

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